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The Athanasian Creed 



THE REV. A'. Et BURN, D.D. 



VICAR OF HALIFAX ; HON, CANON OF WAKEFIELD CATHEDRAL 

AND EXAMINING CHAPLAIN TO THE BISHOPS 

OF LICHFIELD AND WAKEFIELD 

AUTHOR OF 

'the apostles' creed' AND 'THE NICENE CREED 

(oxford CHURCH TEXT BOOKS) 



773/2 



SECOND EDITION 



S. /as 



RIVINGTONS 

34 KING STREET, CO VENT GARDEN 

LONDON 

1918 



By the Rev. A. E. BURN, D.D. 

IS. 6d, each, net. 
Also in one vol, 4J. td. net. 

The Apostles' Creed. 
The Nicene Creed. 
The Athanasian Creed. 

Forming Volumes of the Oxford Church Text Books. 
PRINTiO IN <M*EAT BRITAIN* 



TO 

A. S. B. 



» 



CONTENTS 
PART I.— THE HISTORY 

CHAP. PAGB 

I. The Literary History of the Qmcumque, . . 1 
II. The History of the Use of the Quicumque, . 15 

III. Date and Authorship, 26 

PART H.— THE TEACHING 

IV. The Early History of the Doctrine of the Holy 

Trinity, 43 

V. The Doctrine of the Incarnation in tlie Fifth 

Century, 63 

VI. A Short Commentary, . ,76 

Appendices — 

A. The Latin Text and Greek Versions, . .100 

B. The Earliest MSS. and ('ommentaries, . 104 

Bibliography, Ill 

Index^ 112 



THE ATHANASTAN CREED 

PART I— THE HISTORY 
CHAPTER I 

THE LITERARY HISTORY OP THE QUJOUMQUE 

INTRODUCTION 

The Athanasian Creed is a Private Profession of Faith, 
which was used in the first instance as an Instruction. 
In course of time it came into use as a Canticle, and at 
it8 first introduction into Western Service-Books had 
precisely the same authority as the Te Deum. In many 
iMSS. from the eighth century onwards it was associated 
with the name of S. Athanasius, but there is no doubt 
that it was written in Latin, probably by some Gallican 
aiuthor, certainly not by S. Athanasius. All the Greek 
MSS. are plainly translations from the Latin text, and 
the internal evidence points to the fifth century rather 
than the fourth as the period when the original was 
composed. So far as it has done something to guard 
the great truth for which S. Athanasius sacrificed so 
much, we can pardon the mistake of attributing it to 
him, while to avoid misunderstanding we prefer to call 
it the Quicumque, after the analogy of the Te Deum. No 
doubt it derived much prestige from so great a name, 
but the reasoned argument of its unknown author in 
defence of the great verities of the Christian religion 
deserved to become famous. And when in the eighth 
century it first emerged from obscurity, it was considered 
in many circles only on its merits as an anonymous 



2 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

formulary, and was valued as a concise exposition of the 
Catholic Faith. 

Indeed more harm has been done by calling- it a Creed 
than by calling it Athanasian, since a Creed proper is 
either Baptismal or Liturgical. In the one case, as in 
our Apostles' Creed, it should be a series of plain state- 
ments suited to the use of catechists. In the other, it 
may properly include some technical theological terms 
such as homoousios ' of one essence,' and theological argu- 
ments such as may be built up on the simple use of 
prepositions. 

In our Nicene Creed the old saying about 'much 
divinity in prepositions' is illustrated ; e.g. 'For us men 
and/or our salvation,' 'one baptism /or the remission of 
sins.' This Creed is the Creed for communicants, who 
should be instructed worshippers, but there is no elaborate 
argument, there is no straining of the spiritual sight. 
In our Nicene Creed we sum up the teaching of Holy 
Scripture. We confess that the Scriptures testify of 
Christ, and that we trust His words about His Father 
and the Holy Ghost, whom the Father hath sent in His 
Name, by whom the Church has been instructed in 
teaching on the administration of the Sacraments. The 
actual use of the Creed in public worship is compara- 
tively late but is helpful to devotion, and is a fitting 
prelude to the offering of the Great Memorial, when with 
Angels and Archangels we worship the Holy Father and 
we plead the merits of the Sacrifice once offered and for 
ever pleaded by His Son our Lord. 

When we turn from this Nicene Creed of ours to the 
Quicumque, we are transported into another region of 
thought, not unlike that occupied by the First Nicene 
Creed at the Council of Nicaea, when the representatives 
of the Church addressed solemn warnings to all who 
asserted the right of private judgment in flat opposition 
to her teaching. Reserving the more detailed considera- 
tion of the warning clauses for future treatment, I 
would point out that the whole style is hortatory from 
the beginning to the end, from ' Whosoever would be 
saved 'to 'he cannot be saved.' It is a reasoned argu- 
ment packed full of conjunctions. 'But,' 'for,' 'so 



LITERARY HISTORY OF THE QUICUMQUE 3 

that/ ^ although/ ' however/ ' altogether/ Its majestic 
rhythms may fairly be said to fit it for use as a Canticle, 
as we use didactic Psalms from the Old Testament, but 
we shall find reason presently to doubt whether this was 
the use which either its author or its first champions 
ever imagined for it. Speaking for myself, for it is 
impossible not to bring in personal predilections in such 
a matter, and it is best to state them honestly and 
clearly, I feel that the proper place from which to read 
it is neither the Altar nor the Prayer Desk but the 
Pulpit. 

The time is now ripe for a calm and temperate dis- 
cussion of the best way of using it, because we can now 
trace its history back to the fifth, century with some 
confidence, and probably know as much as ever will be 
known of the early history of its use. 

Imagination has run riot in supplying fictitious 
histories for the (^ulcumque as for the Te Deum. In an 
Italian Psalter of the eleventh century from Subiaco* in 
S. Italy, the writer of a preface to the Te Deum quotes 
a story to the effect that a certain Sisebut, delighted 
with the exposition which blessed Athanasius has given 
of the faith of the holy and undivided Trinity, which is 
called Catholic, broke out into the strains of the Te 
Deum ! Many of the histories invented for the Quicum- 
que are quite as fanciful. 

For the sake of clearness I will at once quote a revised 
Translation of the Creed, quoting variations in the 
translation published by the Archbishop of Canterbury's 
Committee in the margin under the symbol C. or Cm. 
( = margin), and adding to it an analysis of the sequence 
of thought. For the sake of uniformity I will use, as 
they do, the Prayer Book numbering of the clauses, 
although in my Introduction to the Creeda I followed 
Waterland and Ommanney, numbering 40 clauses in- 
stead of 42. 

. 1 MS. 249. 



THE ATHANASIAN CREED 



QuiCUMQUB VULT 

* Whosoever would be saved,* before all things it is 
needful that he holdf the Catholic Faith, ^ which Faith 
except a man have kept whole and uudefiledj without 
doubt he shall perish eternally. 

(a) Divine Personality w triune 

I. i. 'Now the Catholic Faith is this, that we worship 
the one God as a Trinity, and the Trinity as an Unity ; 
* neither confusing the Persons nor dividing the Sub- 
stance. ^ For there is a Person of the Father, another 
of the Son, another of the Holy Ghost; ^but the 
Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost 
is one, their glory equal, their majesty coeternal. 

(ft) Attributes of the Godhead arranged in subsidiary 
antitheses 

7 Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is 
the Holy Ghost; ^the Father uncreated, the Son un- 
created, the Holy Ghost uncreated ; ^the Father infinite, 
the Son infinite, the Holy Ghost infinite; ^^the Father 
eternal, the Son eternal, the Holy Ghost eternal; "and 
yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal ; ^^as 
also they are not three uncreated nor three infinites, but 
one uncreated and one infinite. § ^'So likewise the 
Father is almighty, the Son almighty, the Holy Ghost 
almighty; "and yet they are not three almighties, but 
one almighty. 

(c) In which Christian Truth acknowledges the Trinity 

» So the Father is God, the Son God, the Holy Ghost 
Grod ; *^ and yet they are not three Gods, but one God. 
*^So the Father is Lord, the Son I^rd, the Holy Ghost 
Lord ; ^^ and yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord. 

* Or desireth to be saved, Cm. t Hold fast, 0. 
X Or uncorrupted, Cm. 

§ One infinite and one uncreated, O. 



LITERARY HISTORY OF THE qUICUMQUE 5 

*^For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity^ 
to confess each of the Persons by himself f to be both 
God and Lord ; ^^ so are we forbidden by the Catholic 
Religion to speak of three Gods or three Lords. 

Divine Relationships in Scriptural terms are unique, 
coeternal, coequal 

ii. '^The Father is of none, not made, nor created, 
nor begotten. 22'fhe Son is of the Father alone, not 
made, nor created, but begotten, ^sjhe Holy Ghost is 
of the Father and the Son ; not made, nor created, nor 
begotten, but proceeding. 24jijgj.g jg therefore one 
Father, not three Fathers ; one Son, not three Sons; one 
Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. 25 And in this Trinity 
none is before or after, none is greater or less ; ^6 but all 
three Persons are coeternal one with another and coequal. 



2^ So that in all ways, as is aforesaid, both the Trinity 
is to be worshipped as an Unity, and the Unity as a 
Trinity. ^Let him therefore that would be saved | 
think thus of the Trinity. § 

The Incarnation 

II. 2* Furthermore, it is necessary to eternal salvation 
that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, ^ofhe right Faith therefore is that 
we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the 
Son of God, is at once both God and Man ; 

We confess that Christ in Two Natures 

i. 3^ He is God, of the Substance of the Father, be- 
gotten before the worlds,! | and He is Man, of the 
Substance of His Mother, born in the world 1 ; ^^ perfect 

* Or by Christian truth, Cm. t Or severally, Cm. 

X Or desireth to be saved, Cm. 

§ Or concerning the Trinity, Cm. 

II Or before all time. Cm. IT Or in time, Cm. 



C THE ATHANASIAN CUBED 

God, perfect Man, of reasoning* soul and human flesh 
consisting; ^3 equal to the Father as touching His God- 
head, less than the Father as touching His Manhood. 

Is One Person 

ii. ^Who although He be God and Man, yet He 
is not two, but one f Christ ; ^^ One, however, not by 
change of Godhead into flesh, but by taking of Manhood 
into God; ^^One altogether, not by confusion of Sub- 
stance, but by unity of Person. ^^ For as reasoning | 
soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one 
Christ ; 

The Redeemer, the Judge 

iii. ^ Who sufi'ered for our salvation, descended into 
hell,§ rose again from the dead ; '^ascended into heaven, 
sat down at the right hand of the Father, to come from 
thence to judge the quick and the dead. ^''At whose 
coming all men shall rise again 1| with their bodies and 
shall give account for their own deeds. ** And they that 
have done good will go into life eternal, they that have 
done evil into eternal fire. 

*2This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man have 
faithfully and stedfastly believed he cannot be saved. 

Beginnings of Criticism 

The literary history of the Creed may be said to begin 
in the sixteenth century, when Cranmer and other re- 
formers, who had no hesitation in calling it Athanasius' 
Creed, allowed themselves to be influenced in their 
translation by the Greek Text. IT At the close of the 
century Richard Hooker followed Cardinal Baronius in 
ascribing it to S. Athanasius, but some doubts had begun 
to be spread abroad. The first doubts were expressed by 
Joachim Camerarius in 1551 or 1552, but he was so 

* Or rational, Om. f Is one, C. + Or rational, Cm. 

§ To the world below, C. ; Or into Hades, Cm. 

II Or must rise again. Cm. 11 See page 103. 



LITERARY HISTORY OP THE QUICUMQUE 7 

fiercely attacked that in the Latin edition of his book he 
withdrew the passage.^ Jewel, in his Defence of the 
Apology in 1569 described the Creed as written ' as 
some think by Athanasius ; as some others by Eusebius 
Vercellensis.' 

In 1042 Gerard Voss, a Dutch theologian who became 
a Prebendary of Canterbury, in his work on the Three 
Creeds, attacked the current opinion, and suggested 
that it was written by a Gallican writer of the ninth 
century. To him replied Archbishop Ussher, who pro- 
duced evidence of a much earlier date. 

In 1647, Dr. Jeremy Taylor, in his Liberty of 
Prophesying, expressed himself as doubtful on the author- 
ship. Bishop Pearson, in his Exposition of the Creed, 
first published in 1669, thought that it was written in 
Latin by some member of the Latin Church, c. a.d. 600. 
The famous canonist, Paschasius Quesnel, in 1675, 
ascribed it to Vigilius of Thapsus, and was answered by 
another Parisian divine, Joseph Antelmi, who ascribed 
it to Vincentius of Lerins. 

Some fifty years later appeared A Critical History of 
the Athanasian Creed, by the famous Dr. Waterland, at 
that time President of Magdalen College, Oxford. It is 
not too much to say that he closed the question for more 
than a century. His book contained all the available 
evidence, with a masterly discussion of all the problems 
of date, authorship, and interpretation. He came to the 
conclusion that it was written between 420 and 430 a.d. 
by Hilary, Bishop of Aries, sometime Abbot of Lerins. 
Perhaps the greatest compliment that was ever paid to 
it was the opinion of the great Duke of Wellington, 
who at a dinner party heard some one expressing his 
dislike for and objection to the Athanasian Creed. The 
Duke declined to discuss the subject at dinner, but when 
dinner was ended told him: 'After the war was over, 
I thought it my duty to inquire why I was a member of 
the Church of P^ngland, and I examined the Prayer 
Book, the Articles, and especially the Athanasian Creed, 
and after doing this, and reading that famous treatise 

1 Zeitschrift fiir Kirchcn^eschichte, x. 1889, p. 497. 



« THE ATHANASlAN CREED 

of Waterland's, I came to the conclusion that every word 
of it was borne out by Holy Scripture.'^ 

Dr. Waterland's arguments were not seriously ques- 
tioned in England until 1854, when Mr. Harvey, in his 
able History of the Creeds, ascribed the authorship to 
Victricius, who was Bishop of Rouen at the beginning of 
the fifth cenLury. There was not much interest felt in 
the subject, and the book did not receive the attention 
it merited. 

The appointment of a Royal Commission on Ritual in 
1867 gave occasion for the reopening of the question of 
the use of the Creed, and in the fourth and last Report 
of the Commission, while ten of the Commissioners 
agreed on a rubric explaining the warning clauses, no 
less than seventeen, headed by the Archbishop of 
Canterbury (Dr. Tait), dissented, preferring to advocate 
its disuse. 

This was the cause of the great controversy which 
broke out in 1870, fomented by the wild theory of 
Mr. Ffoulkes, who tried to prove that the Creed was a 
forgery of Paulinus of Aquileia, which was soon followed 
by the more serious Two-document Theory of Professors 
Swainson and Lumby. 

The Two-document Theory 

The idea of the two-document theory was suggested, 
in the first instance, to Dr. Swainson by Dr. Westcott 
in connection with a fragment of an old sermon on the 
Creed, commonly called the Treves fragment. The MS. 
(Paris, Cod. lat. 3836) is of the eighth century, and was 
regarded at the time as the oldest MS. known of the 
Quicumque. Inasmuch as the final warning clause is 
quoted in a positive not a negative form, it was con- 
fidently anticipated that critical investigation would 
prove that the warning clauses were not part of the 
original structure of the Creed. Indeed, the Committee 
of the Upper House of the Convocation of Canterbury, 
appointed to prepare a revised translation of the Creed, 

1 Chronicle of Convocation, 1872, p. 447. Speech by Sir Q. 
Prevost. 



LITFiRAIlY HISTORY OF THE QtTlCVMqVl^ d 

proposed that the last verse should be read in the form 
in which it is found in the Codex Colbertinus : * which 
every man who desireth to attain to eternal life ought to 
know wholly and to guard faithfully.' 

The MS. in question is called Codex Colbertinus, as 
belonging to the collection of Colbert now in the 
Bibliotheque Nationale. The fragment is found on fol. 
89, in a Collection of Canons. The copyist says that 
he found it at Treves. He was an Italian who had 
travelled and had visited Rome among other places. 
He used it to illustrate the Definition of Faith put 
forward by the Council of Chalcedon. He does not 
seem to have been acquainted with the Quicumque, 
because he uses the first words of the fragment as a 
title. His ignorance is not at all surprising. He wrote 
about 780 A.D., and the use of the Creed was as yet 
confined to Gaul. Unfortunately, no trace of the 
original can be found at Treves, which was sacked by 
the Normans in 882 a.d. So we are reduced to con- 
jecture as to the history of the sermon, which begins in 
the middle of verse 27 of the Creed. 

The Treves Fragment 

This I found at Treves written in a book beginning 
thus : 'Of our Lord Jesus Christ' and the rest . . . 

29 Believe faithfully ... of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

30 The right faith therefore is that we believe and 
confess that our Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God 

31 is at once God and Man. He is God, from the 
substance of the Father begotten before the worlds, 
and He is Man from the substance of His Mother, 

32 born in the world. Perfect God, perfect Man, of a 

33 reasoning soul and human flesh consisting ; equal to 
the Father as touching His Godhead, less than the 

34 Father as touching His Manhood. Who although 
He be God and Man yet He is not two but is one 

35 Christ. One, however, not because Godhead has been 
changed into flesh, but because Manhood has been 

36 worthily taken into God. He is one Christ not by 
confusion of Substance, but by unity of Person, who 



10 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

38 according to our faith suffered and died descending into 

39 hell, and on the third day rose again, and ascended 
into heaven, He sitteth at the riglit hand of God the 
Father, as was delivered to you in the Creed. Thence 
we believe and hope that he will come to judge the 

40 quick and the dead. At whose coming all men 
without doubt will rise again in their own bodies, and 

41 will give account for their own works, that they who 
have done good may go into life eternal, they that 

42 have done evil into eternal fire. This is the holy and 
Catholic Faith which every man who desireth to attain 
to eternal life ought to know wholly and to guard 
faithfully. 

By the use of italics to mark variations from the 
usual text, it may be shown that we have before us the 
free quotations of a preacher, not a first draft of the 
Quicumque afterwards to be polished into our text.^ He 
is obviously using the words as an expansion of the 
teaching of the Apostles' Creed, referring (verse 39) to 
the ceremony of the Delivery of the Creed. His omission 
of verse 37, the illustration of the Incarnation from the 
constitution of man, was intentional, because he has 
altered verse 38 to make it fit on to verse 36. The 
reason is not far to seek. If we suppose that the sermon 
was preached some fifty or sixty years before he copied 
it at Treves, say c. 670-680 a.d., we* come to a t.ine 
when the heresy of Eutychianism was widely prevalent. 
That particular illustration was misused by the Euty- 
chians, who taught that the Lord's Human Nature was 
absorbed into the Divine Nature, as a drop of vinegar 
would be swallowed up by the vast ocean. About that 
time (680 A.D.) the Synod of Hethfield met in England 
to condemn such teaching, and the Venerable Bede 
speaks of it as one of the dangers in the Church gener- 
ally. It had then lasted for a long time. More than a 
century earlier, Nicetius, Archbishop of Treves, 627-666 
A.D., wrote a letter to the Emperor Justinian, to remon- 
strate with him on his lapse into a form of Eutychianism, 
in which more than one phrase reminds us of the 
Quicumque. He reminded Justinian of his Baptismal 
^ Loofs. 



LITERARY HISTORY OF THE qVlCVMqVJ^ 11 

Vow: 'Thou hast borne witness to One Son remaining 
in two substances with the Father and the Holy Spirit, 
not two Christs . . . such as the Father is, such is the 
Son.' Nicetius appears to use the language of the Creed 
in another letter also,^ so that it is quite possible that 
the sermon goes back to him. He was a learned theo- 
logian in his time, and was brought into contact with the 
school of Lerins, to which we shall trace the Quicumque, 
by his friend Florianus, Abbot of Romanus, a friend 
of Caesarius of Aries. Indeed in a letter to Queen 
Chlodosinda he quotes the great names Germanus, 
Hilary, Lupus. In any case his letters help us to under- 
stand the use made of the Quicumque in this Treves 
fragment. 

Dr. Swainsou went on to piece together with this 
Treves fragment two other frairmentary quotations of 
the Quicumque^ on which he built up his theory that the 
two portions of the Creed dealing respectively with the 
doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation were not 
put together until the ninth century. He first published 
it in an open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, 
called A plea for time in dealing with the Athanasian 
Creed,"^ in 1873, which he followed up in 1875 with a 
big book entitled The Nicene and Apostles Creeds, their 
literary history, together with an account of the growth and 
reception of the Sermon on the Faith, commonly called the 
Creed of S. Athanasius.^ This book is worthy to be 
introduced to my readers, even by the whole of its title, 
because it contains an astonishing collection of new 
materials. As in his book on Greek Liturgies, which 
has been also neglected. Dr. Swainson was a pioneer, and 
deserves greater credit than he has often received. 

Dr. Swainson found in a MS. at Vienna {Cod. 1261) 
of the twelfth century, a sermon in which the preacher 
quotes the Quicumque under the title Fides Catholica, 
in one passage quoting verse 3, in another verses 1-6, 
24, 26rt, with variations which find no support in any 
other MS. We infer that, like the preacher of the 

1 Cf. my Introduction to the Creeds, p. 159. 

2 Published by Deighton, Bell and Co. 
• Published by John Murray. 



n tHE AtHANASIAN CREED 

Treves fragment, he was quoting freely. There is no 
reason whatever why we should not, in imagination, grant 
him the liberty of quoting what he wanted to quote 
without assuming that he was ignorant of the rest. 
But Dr. Swainson felt that this evidence confirmed his 
opinion that the so-called Profession of Denebert proved 
the existence of the first part of the Quicumque by itself. 

In the year 798 a.d. Denebert, as Bishop elect of 
Worcester, sent to Ethel hard. Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, a short exposition of the Catholic and Apostolic 
Faith, in a letter in which he promised Canonical 
obedience. It is contained in a MS. of the British 
Museum (Cleopatra, E. 1) of the twelfth century. 
Denebert quoted from a written original (scriptum est), 
verses 1, 3-6, 21-23, 25, 26 of the Quicumque, and pro- 
mised further to observe the decrees of the Popes and 
the six Catholic Synods, and their Rule of Faith. Since 
he also undertook to be brief, and would find the 
doctrine of the Incarnation fully expounded by those 
Synods, it cannot be safely said that he would probably 
have quoted more from the Quicumque if he had known 
it. Such an argument from silence is proverbially 
dangerous. We now know an eighth century MS. of 
the whole of the Quicumque in the Royal Library at 
Munich,' written in an Anglo-Saxon hand, which as 
regards one small variation, the order of the words 
enim est in verse 6, agrees with the text quoted by 
Denebert against all other MSS. Some Anglo-Saxon 
clergy attended the Council of Frankfurt in 794 a.d. 
They may have brought the MS. over with them, or it 
may have been written in some colony of Saxon monks. 
At any rate, here is proof that Denebert was quoting the 
current text in use in the Anglo-Saxon Church of the 
eighth century, and that the Anglo-Saxon Church had the 
whole Creed to quote from and not merely a fragment. 

Dr. Swainson himself suggested a reason why Dene- 
bert should have quoted only these particular clauses. 
Some of the Creeds of other Saxon Bishops in the 
collection in this British Museum MS. have a Sabellian 

1 Cod. lat. 6298. My attention was called to it by Dom Morin. 
I have published a facsimile for the Bradshaw Society, 1909. 



LITERARY HISTORY OF THE QUICUMQUE IS 

sound. They run thus : ' I believe in God the Father, 
and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, born and suffered.' 
Unless such teaching is expanded, to make it clear that 
it was God the Son who was born and suflfered, we are 
left in the clutch of the ancient heresy of Sabellius, 
which is the modern heresy of Swedenborg, that God is 
manifested in one Person under changing aspects, first 
as Father, then as Son, then as Holy Ghost. This is 
to ^confuse the persons.' I have no wish to impugn 
the orthodoxy of the Saxon Bishops, some of whom, 
no doubt, had very meagre theological training. Any- 
how, Bishop Denebert had his eyes open and taught 
correctly. 

Dr. Swainson must have felt that he was treading on 
thin ice when he argued from these three documents 
that the two portions of the Quicumque were put together 
and brought into its present form c. 860, in the diocese of 
Rheims. This theory committed him to assigning late 
dates to all the MSS. hitherto assigned to the border- 
line of the eighth and ninth centuries. He assumed also 
the silence of Alcuin and Paulinus of Aquileia about 
the Creed, and was forced to explain away the parallel 
passages in their writings.^ At every point his theory 
was vulnerable, and at the end of his book the reader 
may well have the impression that he knew it. He 
is far more hesitating in his judgment than Dr. Lumby, 
who took up his theory and stated it most succinctly in 
his well-known book on the Three Creeds as follows : — 

*(i) Before a.d. 809, there is no trustworthy evidence of any 
confession called by the name of St, Athanasius. (ii) Before that 
date two separate compositions existed, which form the ground- 
work of the present Quicumque. (iii) That for some time after 
that date all quotations are made only from the former of these 
compositions, (iv) That the Quicumque was not known down to 
A.D. 813, to those who were most likely to have heard of it, had 
it been in existence, (v) That it is found nearly as we use it in 
A.D. 870. (vi) A comparison of the various MSS. shows that after 
the combination of the two parts, the text was for some time in 
an unsettled or transition state. On every ground, therefore, 
both of internal and external evidence, it seems to be a sound 

1 Cf. my book The Athanasian Creed, p. xxxviii. 



U THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

conclusion that somewhere between a.d. 813-850 the Creed was 
brought nearly into the form in which wo use it.'^ 

During the last thirty years every one of these positions 
has been riddled with arguments. As I shall show later, 
we can produce some four MSS. which undoubtedly 
belong to the eighth century, others which belong to 
the early years of the ninth century, and with the 
support of the best palaeographers may assign the 
earliest MS., the famous Cod. Ambrosianus, to the end 
of the seventh century. I have edited for the Bradshaw 
Society facsimiles of the most important of these MSS., 
with palaeographical notes by the late Dr. Ludwig 
Traube, whose authority in these investigations was 
unrivalled. Some years ago Dr. Loofs, in his Article 
Athanasianum in Herzog's great Real-Encyclopadie filr 
protestantische Theologie und Kirche,^ declared that the 
two-portion theory was dead. But while Dr. Harnack 
retains a modified form of it in his well-known History 
of Dogma f^ it must be regard? cd as having still a sort of 
suspended animation, and it may be interesting to my 
readers to have definite information about the earliest 
MSS. both of the text of the creed and of the earliest 
commentaries which quote it. These are therefore 
described in Appendix B of this book. 

Among recent books, which deserve mention, is a bril- 
liant study of The History and Use of Creeds, by Mr. C. H. 
Turner, who follows Dom G. Morin, O.S.B., in select- 
ing S. Caesarius of Aries as the most probable author. 

Dr. Karl Kunstle of Freyburg, on the other hand, 
prefers a Spanish origin for the Quicumque, and in his 
book Antipriscilliana connects it with other documents 
of Spanish and Galilean origin which were called forth 
by the controversy with Priscillianism from the last 
quarter of the fourth century. 

Dr. H. Brewer of Paderborn in 1900 sought to prove 
that the Creed was a work of S. Ambrose. 

In 1914 Mr. D. Macleane, in his book on the Athan- 
asian Creed, published a useful survey of the recent 
controversy on the use of the Creed, with a popular 
amount of recent researches into its history. 

1 Hist, of the Creeds, ed. 3, p. 259. 2 Ed. 3, ii. p. 177. 

» Eng. Trans., iv. 134. 



CHAPTER II 

THE HISTORY OF THE USB OP THE QUIOUMQUE 

For our present purpose we must begin with the Canon 
of the Faith put forth by the Fourth Council of Toledo 
in 683 A.D. Of earlier possible quotations it only 
concerns us to note this, that Vincentius and Caesarius 
if they quoted it, and not merely current phrases about 
the Catholic Faith, quoted it as an instruction in the 
faith, a sort of elementary catechism, which is its proper 
use. The Toledan theologians made precisely the same 
use of it. They refer to the Divine Scriptures and the 
doctrine which they had received from the Holy Fathers, 
as the standard of the rule of faith which they were 
prepared to draw up, using the phrases of the Quicumque 
and of the Creed of Damasus, as they happened to 
come in. 

The Fourth Council of Toledo was specially interested 
in counteracting the heresy of Priscillianism, which was 
still rife in parts of Spain. It is therefore necessary to 
say something about Priscillian. 

Priscillian 

In 1885 Dr. Schepss discovered some of Priscillian's 
writings in a fifth or sixth century MS. in the Univer- 
sity Library at Wiirzburg. It is now possible to judge 
him out of his own mouth without relying on the testi- 
mony of opponents whom we must regard as biased. 
Priscillian was a wealthy Spanish layman of the fourth 
century, cultured and devout, who was a great student 
of the Scriptures, and to some extent of theology. But 
he had had no theological training, and when he quoted' 

15 



16 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

S. Hilary of Poitiers, failed again and again to understand 
his argument, and in most cases fell into heresies, not 
one but many, simply through confused thinking. This 
became more serious when he came under the influence of 
Gnostic or Manichean teachers, and still more serious 
when he was made a bishop. 

We are not now concerned with the history of his life 
and death. It was his miserable fate to sufl'er at the 
hands of the civil power the doom which, in fierce words, 
he had proposed for heretics. He appealed to the 
usurping Emperor Maximus, and was condemned no 
doubt on political rather than religious grounds, but 
that made no difference to saintly minds, e.g. to 
S. Martin of Tours, who regarded the execution with 
horror. Priscillian was venerated as a martyr and his 
sect increased. 

Putting the most charitable construction upon his 
words, we cannot fail to find that he fell both into 
Sabellian and Apollinarian error. All his vehement 
professions of holding the true Catholic faith on the lines 
of the Apostles' Creed do not deceive us when we find 
him putting 'Holy Church' before 'Holy Ghost' in 
the Creed, thus throwing doubt on belief in the person- 
ality of the Holy Ghost, and then teaching that Christ is 
the one Person in the Godhead, as in the following : — 

'In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy 
Ghost. He does not say "in the names" as in many, but in one, 
because Christ is one God venerable in threefold power, aU and 
in all as it has been written. The promises were reckoned to 
Abraham and his seed ; he saith not "and to seeds" as in many, 
but in one "and to thy seed," which is Christ . . . For to us 
Christ our God, the Son of God, suffered in the flesh according 
to the faith of the Creed, to those baptiseti and called to the 
priesthood, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of 
the Holy Ghost, is all our faith, all our life, all our veneration.' ^ 

In his Blessing over the Faithful, Priscillian begins with 
a quotation from S. Hilary's prayer, ' Holy Father, 
almighty God,' ^ but falls away again into Sabellian con- 
fasion of the Persons when he writes : — 

1 Tract, ii., fol. 45. « De Trin. xii. 62. 



HISTORY OF THE USE OF THE qUlCUMQUS Vj 

' For thou art God who ... art believed as one God, invisible 
in the Father, visible in the Son, and art found as Holy Spirit 
united in the work of both.' i 

It is clear that Orosius was not mistaken when he 
accused Priscillian of omitting the ' aiids' in the Bap- 
tismal Formula, and of teaching that Father, Son, Holy 
Spirit are one Christ. Nor can there be any doubt 
that Priscillian believed that in the union of Godhead 
and Manhood in Christ the Divine soul took the place 
of the human soul : — 

' Finally our God assuming flesh, assigning to Himself the form 
of God and Man, that is of Divine soul and human flesh, while 
He showed that one of these was the form of sin, the other was 
His Divine Nature, and the Word made flesh designates that 
as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, this as instruments 
of righteousness^ for our salvation. '^ 

For further evidence as to Priscillian's leaning to 
Gnosticism and Manicheism I must refer to my Intro- 
duction to the Creeds, p. 142 if. But enough has been 
said to show that the combination of Sabellian and 
Apollinarian teaching in his writings is precisely met 
by the main teaching of the Quicumque, which I ventured 
to suggest in my Book, was written for this purpose. 
The suggestion was warmly taken up by Dr. Kiinstle, 
Professor of Theology in the University of Freiburg, 
i. B.,* who in his book Antipriscilliana went a great deal 
further, and found traces of the controversy in a great 
many other formularies of the period, which he, without 
hesitation, assigns in a lump to Spain, the Quicumque 
included. 

It is impossible now to discuss each formulary on its 
merits, but it is obvious that such a sweeping conclusion 
is, to say the least, rash. When Dr. Kiinstle argues that 
the Treatise in form of a Creed recently restored by Dom 
Morin to Bishop Pastor of Gallaecia,^ has close parallels 
in thought to the Quicumque, and is followed by ana- 
themas which are plainly antipriscillianist in character, 
he is fully justified. Its date is about 460 a.d. 

1 Ed. Schepss, p. 103. 2 Rom. 6. 13. 

» Tract, vi. § 99. * Freiburg im Breisgau, 1905. 

« Eevue Benedictine, 1893, p. 385. 



Id tilE AtrtAKASlAN CRfiflD 

Canon of Autun 
Nearly a century after the Council of Toledo we find 
the creed referred to in a Canon of the Synod of Autun 
which met under Bishop Leodgar^ c. 730 a.d. 

' If any presbyter or deacon, subdeacon, cleric, shall not repeat 
without blame the Creed which the Apostles, under the inspiration 
of the Holy Ghost have handed down, and the Faith of the holy 
prelate Athanasius, let him be condemned by the Bishop.' 

At one time some doubts were expressed about the 
reference, because another profession of faith^ known as 
the Fides Romanorurrij was quoted by Ilatramn of Corbie 
as a Tract of Athanasius on the Faith. Both he and 
Hincmar of Rheims were led to connect this formulary 
with the name of Athanasius by the work of Vigilius of 
Thapsus On the Trinity. But there is not a single MS. 
in which it is so described, whereas at least twenty of the 
early MSS. of the Quicumque describe it as the Faith of 
S. Athanasius, and the preface to the early Commentary 
called Oratorian, which speaks (c. 800 a.d.) of ancient 
MSS. as so entitling it ! Moreover, only the Quicumque 
was ever recommended in this way to the clergy to be 
learnt by heart with the Apostles' Creed. This concep- 
tion of its usefulness exactly corresponds to the use 
made of it by the Council of Toledo, as, if the quotations 
are allowed, by Caesarius of Aries. 

The earliest MS. now at Milan {Cod.Amhrosianus, 0.212 
sup.) does not give any hint as to the use which might be 
made of the Creed, but the earliest Commentaries, which 
we are justified in carrying back to the eighth century, 
suggest that it was becoming known in different centres, 
without as well as with the name of Athanasius to re- 
commend it. Thus the Fortunatus Commentary, the 
earliest MSS. of which are connected with S. Gallen and 
other Benedictine monasteries, and the Troyes Commen- 
tary dependent on the Fortunatus, use it as a summary of 
Catholic Faith, explaining difficult terms in the con- 
ventional way. On the other hand, the author of the 
Oratorian Commentary, in the extremely interesting 
preface quoted on p. 108, refers to it as recited in some 



ttlStORY OB' THE tJSE OF THE QVtCVMqVt: 10 

churches, and continually made the subject of recitation 
by our priests. 

Dom Morin is right in his sarcastic allusion to the 
early dates formerly ascribed to these Commentaries. ^ 
I have to withdraw my opinion that we must trace the 
Fortunatus to so early a date as 700 a.d., but we cannot 
go lower than 750 a.d. to allow time for the spreading 
of the MSS., which in the ninth century became fairly 
numerous. If we surrender doubtful arguments based 
on internal evidence, we must begin with more zeal to 
piece together all that may be learnt from the now con- 
siderable list of MSS., in which this Commentary was 
extant in the ninth century. But for our present pur- 
pose it concerns us only to point out that the MSS. 
prove, as we should expect, use in the Benedictine 
Monasteries of S. Gallen, Murbach, and others. 

If we may connect the Oratorian Commentary with 
Theodulf of Orleans, that gives a clue as to the use at 
Fleury at the end of the eighth century, by which time 
other MSS. come into view. 

In 798 A.D. the Profession of Denebert, Bishop-elect of 
Worcester, shows us the familiar use of the Quicumque 
as a clear instruction on the Catholic Faith, and his 
possession of the whole text is guaranteed by the Munich 
MS. {Cod. lat. 6298). At the present moment it would 
be wearisome to collect all the details about the distribu- 
tion of the different MSS. In the last ten years so 
many new ones have come to light that it would be 
worth while to spend some labour on tracking out their 
homes and the circumstances under which the com- 
mentaries appear. 

One outstanding fact of importance is the way in 
which the Creed began to find its way into Psalters 
with the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the 
Canticles. 

We shall see^ how Leidrat of Lyons introduced a 
collection of Creeds into an Introduction to the Psalter 
which he apparently prepared for Charles the Great, 

* Ommanney would date the Fortunatus ± 600 and the 
Oratorian + 700. 
2 Page 104. 



20 Ttt^ ATHANASIAN CREED 

since we find the same Creeds and most of the quotations 
which follow actually forming the Introduction to the 
famous Golden Psalter at Vienna {Cod. 18G1), in which 
the Quicumque appears in what was, from this time 
forward, its usual place at the end of the Psalter. This 
led naturally to its use in the office of Prime as a hymn. 
The encouragement which Charles the Great gave to the 
study of church music as a part of the general Revival 
of letters and Art, contributed to such use. Since it was 
written in the same rhythms as the Te Deum, there was 
a natural affinity with the tones of the Gregorian music. 

The Paris Psalter {Bihliotheqiie Nationale, Cod. lat. 
13,159), which was written before 800 a.d., has been 
partially destroyed, but enough of the (Quicumque is 
written in the original hand to prove that it belonged to 
the collection added to the Psalter. 

The Utrecht Psalter was copied in the Diocese of 
Rheims at the beginning of the ninth century, appar- 
ently page by page, from an earlier MS., but we are too 
uncertain about it to prove that this was really the 
earliest Psalter in which it was added to the Canticles. 

At the beginning of the ninth century a new idea was 
started by Abbot Angilbert of St. Riquier (c. 814), who 
records that the Faith of S. Athanasius was sung by his 
school in procession on Rogation Days with the Creeds 
and the Lord's Prayer. * 

This use as a canticle spread rapidly during the ninth 
century. At the end of the century following, Alio of 
Fleury speaks of it as sung antiphonally both in France 
and England. But the earlier use as an instruction on 
the Faith did not pass away. Theodulf of Orleans used, 
in an Address to his Clergy, as in a treatise on the 
Holy Spirit (c. 820). So did Benedict d'Aniane, in the 
same diocese. 

In 834 A.D. Florus, the Deacon of Lyons, wrote about 
the Creed to Abbot Hyldrad, who asked him for a 
corrected Psalter. He had corrected the Symbol, Lord's 
Prayer, Catholic Faith, and hymns for addition to the 
Psalter. 

1 Hariulf, Chronique de VAbb, de Saint-Itiquier, F. Lot, 
Paris, 1894. 



HISTORY OF THE USE OF THE QUICUMQUE 21 

Before 836 a.d. Hatto of Reichenau, Bishop of Basle, 
directed his clergy to learn and recite it on Sundays at 
Prime. 

In 852, Hincmar, Archbishop of Rheims, referred to 
it in his Capitula as the Treatise (Sermo) of S. Athanasius 
on the Faith, which he wished his clergy to learn by 
heart and explain like a Catechism. And he set the 
example of using it as an authority in his own treatises. 
On one not threefold Deity, and On Predestination. Thus 
in the ninth century we see the use extending through the 
length and breadth of the empire of Charles the Great 
and his successors. And we find it used in professions 
made by Bishops before their consecration at Rome as 
Denebert had used it. 

There is a strange confession of faith in a MS. at 
Munich of the eighth or ninth century {Cod. lat. 6435), 
written in an Anglo-Saxon hand, which well illustrates 
the stumbling way in which men tried to express them- 
selves on the subject until they had the guidance of the 
Quicumque. (See above, p. 13.) 

Use in England in the Middle Ages 

We may now narrow the circle of our interest to the 
actual use made of the Creed in England. As we have 
seen, it was sung antiphonally in England from the 
tenth century. An Anglo-Saxon homily, On the Catholic 
Faith, by a monk, Aelfric, quotes it for the instruction 
of the people. In one Old English MS. of the ninth or 
tenth century it is called a Hymn, as in the Constitu- 
tions of some English Bishops of the thirteenth century 
it is called a Psalm. 

The daily use enjoined by the Sarum Breviary corre- 
sponded to the use of the Church of Milan. In the 
Roman Breviary for the end of the thirteenth century 
the use seems to have been restricted to Sundays. 

Dr. Wickham Legg, in his interesting book on The 
Popular Use oj the Athanasian Creed, has shown that in 
England inthe laterMiddle Ages the officeswere combined. 
Mattins with Lauds, Prime, and Terce, with or without 
Sext and None, were said without break, by accumula- 
tion as it is called, and the whole service was oanie^ 



22 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

' Mattins.' Lay folk of all classes attended Mattins 
as well as Mass ou Sundays and holy days. An early 
sixteenth-century book, called the Mirror of Our Lady, 
written to explain the Brigittine Rite of Syon, the nuns' 
house at Isle worth, has the following note : — 

'Therefore Holy Church hath ordained that it {Quicumque 
vult) should be sung each day openly at prime, both in token 
that faith is the first beginning of health, and also for people use 
that time most to come to church.' 

In 1649, in the First Prayer Book of Edward vi., 
Mattins became Morning Prayer, ' which contained on 
certain days the Athanasian Creed, just as Prime had 
contained it for daily use in the old rite. The difference 
was that the layman recited it with the priest in English 
and not in Latin.' Dr. Legg does not see in this change 
any great innovation. He is quite right to point out 
that the Creed had often found translators into Anglo- 
Saxon,^ Norman-French,2 Middle English,^ but these 
attempts to make it known in the common tongue were 
spasmodic, and in the nature of the case very limited in 
their influence, until the invention of printing. Only 
the lettered classes could understand Latin, and only 
the wealthy could possess a Breviary. The great 
majority in the congregation said the Lord's Prayer and 
such other prayers as they knew by heart, occupying 
themselves with their private devotions, though of 
course in the Mass they could be taught to follow the 
action of the service. In 1539 Bishop Hilsey included 
the Creed in his Manual oj Prayers, a Primer of Private 
Devotion. So it was quite to be expected that in the 
First Prayer Book of Edward vi. it should be included 

1 A tenth century Psalter at Salisbury shows an Anglo-Saxon 
gloss between the lines. 

^ The Eadwine Psalter at Trinity College, Cambridge, has a 
Norman-French translation. 

s The Bodleian MS. 425 contains an Old English version in 
metre and rhyme, probably written in the northernmost part of 
Lincolnshire, perhaps not far from Hull, c. 1240. The British 
Museum, Add. MSS. 17,376, of the fourteenth century, has 
another. A third, Cambridge University Library, Ee. 1. 10, has 
been ascribed to Wyclif or one of his followers. Dr. Swainsoix 
r^feys to otl^er Anglo-Sftxon versions {o;p. cit. p. 484). 



HISTORY OF THE USE OF THE QUICUMQUE 23 

in Mattins to be sung or said after the Benedictus on 
the Greater Feasts. The Apostles' Creed followed as 
part of the Freces in prostratione, all kneeling. In 
the Second Prayer Book it was directed that the 
Creeds should be said standing, but it was obviously 
intended that the Quicumque should precede the Apostles' 
Creed on certain festivals, the number of which was 
increased.^ In 1662 the rubric was altered to 'At 
Morning Prayer instead of the Apostles' Creed/ 

Use in the Present 

Tiie Quicumque has no place in the Offices of the 
Eastern Orthodox Church, but is found, without the 
words 'And the Son' (cf clause 23), in the Appendix 
of many modern editions of the Horologion. Thus 
revised it is regarded as a good exposition of the Faith. 
In the Russian service books it does not appear in the 
Horologion (Charoslov), but at the beginning of the 
Psalter {Psaltir), under the title 'The Symbol, called 
the Confession of our Father amongst the Saints, 
Athanasius, Patriarch of Alexandria.' The second portion 
has the heading, 'Concerning Christ.' The words 'And 
the Son' are omitted, and it has abundant traces of 
having been translated from a Greek version and not 
from the original Latin. It is followed by other ex- 
positions. Mr. W. J. Birkbeck, to whom I am indebted 
for this information, thinks that it was introduced in the 
Niconian reforms of the middle of the seventeenth 
century, and not (as some have guessed) by Peter 
Moghila at Kieff. Moghila was educated as a Uniat at 
Rome, and would certainly have translated it from 
Latin. 

Mr. Birkbeck has shown that 'wherever the Roman 
Catholic Church has allowed her offices to be said in the 
vernacular, there you will find the Athanasian Creed,' 
e.g. in the Utraquist Service-books written in the 
Bohemian language, which was used in Bohemia under 
the sanction of the Council of Basle for nearly two 

1 Cf. an interesting note by Henry Bradshaw, Jov/mal of 
geological Studies, v. p. 458. 



24 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

hundred years. 'And quite down to the present time 
in Croatia and Dalmatia and other parts of the Austrian 
Empire where the Services for many centuries have been 
read and sung, not in Latin but in a Slavonian dialect, 
you will find the Athanasian Creed in the Service-books 
in its regular place, and the Offices, Prime included, are 
recited in the churches, and attended and joined in by 
crowds.'^ 

' In the use of the Roman Catholic Church in England 
some restriction has resulted from the gradual encroach- 
ment of the Sajictuale upon the Temporale, (1) through the 
multiplication of saints days, and (2) to a less extent by 
the raising of the *' ritus" or dignity of individual festi- 
vals. According to the general rubrics, if a '^festum 
duplex" fall on an ordinary Sunday, '^Jit qfficiujn defesto, 
commemoratio de Dominica." How often this occurs 
depends largely on the particular calendar in use ; 
e.g. English Jesuits use the Roman calendar supple- 
mented by the Proprium Soc. Je.^u and by the Propnum 
AnglicB, with the result that hardly a Sunday in the year 
escapes '^ occurrence." But occurence — even with a 
''duplex" — does not crowd out the Sunday office in the 
case of the Sundays in Advent and Lent, or of Septua- 
gesima,Sexagesima, andQuinquagesima, sothe Quicumque 
(with the rest of the Sunday office) survives on these, and 
(as regards the Quicumque) on Trinity Sunday. In the 
case of the secular clergy there will be fewer cases of 
occurrence, and the Sunday office is more frequently, or 
less infrequently recited.' 

I am indebted for this clear statement to the Rev. H. 
Lucas, S. J., and have quoted it in full from my Intro- 
duction to the Creeds,'^ because there is often misunder- 
standing as to the exact position which the Quicumque 
still holds in the Roman Catholic Service-books. Dr. 
Legg calls attention to a 'Manual of Prayers for 
Congregational Use,' published by authority, which in- 
cludes the Athanasian Creed in an Office called ' Prayers 
for the afternoon or evening service,* all of which are 
in the vernacular. ^ And in the new Roman Catholic 

1 Prayer Book Revisiont p. 13. London, 1909. 
« f. 184. » 0^. cit. p. 15, 



HISTORY OF THE USE OF THE QUIGUMQUE 26 

Cathedral at Westminster an English translation is pro- 
vided for worshippers who do not understand Latin. 

It is obvious, therefore, that there would be no break 
with Catholic usage if at any time the Church of England 
should authorise the use of the Quicumque in the Office ot 
Prime, or the First Evensong of a Festival. 

When we compare the Roman with the Anglican use, 
if it is not quite correct to say that 'the Church of 
England alone uses it in the mother-tongue in a popular 
service,' it is quite true to say that the use in Roman 
Catholic Churches iu vernaculax popular services is 
optional. 



CHAPTER III 

DATE AND AUTHORSHIP 

It is far more important to fix the date of the Quicumque, 
even approximately, than to advance any theory as to 
the authorship. The recent lectures of Dom Morin at 
Oxford, published in the Journal of Theological Studies 
(January-April 1911), if they leave nothing certain before 
633 A.D., have at least the merit of forcing' us to go back 
to first principles and distinguish carefully between the 
proved and the probable. I cannot say I am convinced 
by Dom Morin's scepticism. I have never wavered from 
the fundamental position taken up by Waterland that 
the Creed belongs to Apollinarian times, and is written 
with Apollinarian, rather than Nestorian or Eutychian 
error in view throughout the teaching on the In- 
carnation. This brings us back to the first half of the 
fifth century as the probable date, and since it is 
generally agreed that the author was acquainted with 
S. Augustine's work On the Trinity, we may say in round 
numbers after a.d. 416 or 420-430. 

Fourth Council of Toledo 

In deference to the great learning of Dom Morin we 
must begin where he begins and work our way back- 
wards. In his opinion the first certain quotation of the 
Quicumque was made in a canon of the faith composed 
by the Fourth Council of Toledo in a.d. 683. It was an 
important Council, and the most interesting thing about 
the quotation is that it is quoted side by side with the 
so-called Creed of Damasus. I will print the quotations 
of the Quicumque in leaded type, of the Creed of Damasus 
in italics : — 

Canon 1. According to the divine Scriptures aiid 



DATE AND AUTHORSHIP 27 

the doctrine which we have received from the holy 
fathers we confess the Father and the Son and the 
Holy Ghost of one Godhead and substance, believing 
a Trinity in diversity of persons, preaching a Unity 
4 in divinity. We neither confound the persons nor divide 

20 the substance. We say that the Father is made of none 

21 nor begotten: We assert that the Son is from the 

22 Father, not made but begotten : We profess that the 
Holy Ghost is truly not created nor begotten, but pro- 

30 ceeding from the Father and the Son. That our Lord 
Jesus Christ Himself, Son of God and creator of all 
things, begotten of the substance of the Father before the 
ages, descended in the last time for the redemption of 
the world from the Father, who never ceased to be 
with the Father, for He was incarnate of the Holy 
Ghost and the holy glorious Mother of God the 
Virgin Mary, and was born of her, but only the Lord 
Jesus Christ ; alone of the Holy Trinity, perfect in 
soul and flesh, without sin, taking man upon Him, 
remaining what He was, assuming what He was not: 

83 Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, less than 
the Father as touching His Manhood ; having in one 
person the characteristics of two natures ; for two 

37 natures in Him, God and Man, not however two Sons 

38 and two Gods, but one and the same person in either 
nature, bearing His passion and death for our salva- 
tion : not in virtue of Godhead but in weakness of 
manhood. He descended into hell, that He might 
rescue the saints who were held there ; and having 
conquered the power of death He rose again, was then 
taken up into heaven, is about to come in the future for 
judgment on quick and dead : cleansed by whose death 
and blood we hai^e attained remission of sins, meet to be 
raised up by Him in the last day in that flesh in which 
we now live, and in that form in which the same Lord 
rose, about to receive from Him some eternal life for 
the deserts of their righteousness, others/or their sins 

42 sentence of eternal punishment. This is the Faith of the 
Catholic Church ; this confession we have preserved 
and hold : which whosoever shall have guarded most 
Urmly shall have perpetual salvation, 



28 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

In both cases the authors of this canon seem to have 
quoted written documents, and the proper secjuence of 
numbers in the quotations of the Quicumque prove that 
the text quoted contained both parts of the ('reed, and 
so far as the quotations enable us to discover, was 
identical with that which we use. It is interesting to 
note that clause 35 is omitted because the phrase of 
the Creed of Damasus, which is also the phrase of the 
Te Deum, has been preferred (suscipiens hominem). This, 
by the way, was a favourite phrase of Isidore, Archbishop 
of Seville, who presided over the Council.^ 

Swainson, looking in vain for a quotation of the Qui- 
cumque in Isidore's writings, concluded * that it was not 
known to him, or, if known, it had no authority.' Loofs 
also thought it more probable that the Toledan Councils 
did not use the Quicumque.^ But I am glad to find Dom 
Morin in full agreement with my argument that the 
quotations in this canon are indisputable,^ and to argue 
from Isidore's silence elsewhere is absurd.* 

It is unfortunate that we cannot trace the use of 
the Quicumque B.\\y further back in the Spanish Church, 
nor have we any clue as to the date when it became 
known in Spain. But it is best to say so. 



Ccesarius of Aries 

Some years ago, in a remarkable article contributed 
to the Benedictine Review,^ Dom Morin suggested that 
Caesarius, the famous Archbishop of Aries (a.d. 603-543), 
was probably the first witness to the Quicumque. He was 
at that time prepared to follow the opinions of the 
Benedictines of S. Maur, who, in their Appendix to the 
works of S. Augustine, ascribed the Pseudo-Augustinian 
Sermon 244 without hesitation to Caesarius. Un- 
fortunately, he has come to the conclusion, in which he 

1 De Eccles. Offic. ii. 24. « Op. cit. p. 235. 

8 Real-Encycl., Art. Athanasianum. 

* For further statement of this argument, Bee my Introdtustion, 
p. 155. 

8 Rev. B^n^d. , Oct. 1901. Le symhole d'Atha,nas€ et son premier 
(^9»n, S. Cham d'Mki^ 



DATE AND AUTHORSHIP 2S 

is supported by Dr. W. Bergmann, that the authenticity 
of this sermon is doubtful. 

The sermon is found in more than one form, in only 
one of which it begins : — 

1 'I ask and admonish you, dearly beloved brethren, that 

(42) whosoever willeth to he saved should learn the right and 

Catholic faith, hold it firmly, and preserve it uiidefiled. 

Accordingly, it behoves each one to take care that he believes 

the Father, that he believes the Son, that he believes the 

15 Holy Ghost. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the 

16 Holt/ Ghost is God ; hut nevertheless not three Gods, but one 
7 God. Such as the Father such is the Son, such also the Holy 

Ghost. Nevertheless, let each one of the faithful believe that 
33 the Son is equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and 
less than the Father as touching the manhood of the flesh 
which He assumed from ours ; in truth the Holy Ghost pro- 
ceeding from both.' 

From the seventh century this sermon has been com- 
bined with another, the first words of which are. Hear the 
Exposition, the authorship of which is unknown, and 
which contained parallels to the clauses 6, 13, 16, 16, 
31, 40. 

Now I do not hide from myself the great importance 
of the fact that the Sermon 244 is not included in any 
recognised collection of CaBsarian sermons, or indeed in 
any collection the origin of which can be traced to 
Aries. 'J'here are phrases in it which might have come 
from the pen of Caesarius, others, which in the opinion 
of Morin could not, though I am bound to say that 
merely grammatical errors might be due to a copyist.* 
For the present, however, we must give up the idea of 
Csesarian authorship. But this conclusion by no means 
abolishes the sermon, which we must still consider as a 
sixth century quotation, even though its authorship is 
unknown. 

Nor are we compelled to give up the idea thatCaBsarius 
quoted the Quicumque. We have still to take into 
account what Dom Morin calls ' the remarkable similarity 

1 Dom Morin's judgment is supported by that of Dr. W. 
Bergmann, who has made a special study of South Gallican 
Sermon Literature. 



so tap. AtttANASiAN CRfiBD 

in thought, expression, and rhythm, which is the result 
of a minute comparison between the smallest linguistic 
characteristics of the Quicumque, and that which remains 
to us of S. Caesarius.' In his first article he quoted 
parallels which cannot be reproduced here. He had the 
advantage of referring to unpublished tracts and texts 
which he is preparing for his future edition of Caesarius. 
But we cannot get away from the conclusion, which 
commended itself to Professor P. Lejay and Mr. Turner, 
that the question of quotation by Caesarius has been 
settled. While M. Lejay was led on to the conclusion 
that the Creed is a composition of Caesarius, Mr. Turner 
suggested that the parallels, without establishing a proof 
properly so called as to the identity of the author, gave 
Morin's hypothesis the right to occupy the ground until 
it was replaced by a better. 

We may add that although the Sermon 244 does not 
occur in collections of Caesarian sermons, the Creed itself 
does occur in conjunction with such a collection in the 
well-known Freising MS., now at Munich (Cod. lat. 6298) 
of the eighth century; also in another Munich MS. 
which contains the xlii. Admonitions of Caesarius {Cod. 
lat. 6344). And this must be set off against Dom Morin's 
argument that we do not find the Creed in any collection 
of Canons which have any definite link with the archives 
of the Church at Aries. 

It is very unsatisfactory to leave the question unsettled 
like this. It is impossible to quote all the parallels 
which made so strong an impression on the mind of Dom 
Morin nine years ago, but 1 am glad to find that, having 
passed through a phase of scepticism as to his former 
conclusions, he has returned to something akin to them. 
On my mind the impression remains, and in the absence 
of any proof that Caesarius wrote the Creed, I am 
encouraged to resume my opinion that it had been 
taught him from his early years, and came as naturally 
to his lips as the phrases of our Church Catechism rise 
to our lips. 



t>ATE AND AtJtHORSMll* Si 

Anonymous Sermons of the Sixth and Seventh Centuries 

As I said before, the Sermon 244 is not emptied of its 
importance if it is cut out of the literary remains of 
Caesarius. It takes its place in another list which is 
growing- slowly, and can only be handled with caution, 
because the dates given are after all provisional, but they 
establish a presumption that the Creed quoted in each of 
the sermons is of greater antiquity than say 500 a.d., 
when Csesarius was at the height of his influence. 

The list begins with the famous Treves fragment (Pan> 
lat. 8836), which I have described (p. 9). It is probably 
a sixth century sermon, possibly from the pen of Nicetius 
of Treves. There is a sermon, which Morin found in a 
Col mar MS. (39), formerly belonging to Murbach. 

A Sermon to Candidates for Baptism at Rouen (A. 214) 
has the same beginning as the Sermon 244, and must 
have some literary connection with it. 

There is the Holy Homily published by Elmenhorst 
in 1614, which Kattenbusch has put back to the sixth 
century, but Morin prefers to regard it as a compilation 
of the eighth century. An instruction to the people in the 
style of Martin of Braga and Priminius in MSS. at 
Munich (Clm 6330), and Cassel (Theology, 40, 24), 
quotes clauses 40, 41. 

Allocutions on the Catholic faith in a Vienne MS. of 
the eleventh century contain many quotations of the 
Quicumque in the midst of materials gathered from 
Arnohius the Younger^ Caesarius, and others. 

To these I may add another sermon in a Munich MS. 
14,508 (saec. x.), and as I said above Ps. Aug. Sermon 244 
in both its forms, is almost as important, apart from the 
name of Caesarius, as when attached to it. 

At this point we have to leave the track which any 
definite quotation makes for us, and risk our steps on 
the shifting sands of speculation. 

Possible Quotations of the Fifth Century 

Dom Morin is astonished that I find it hard to surrender 
a sentence or two in the writings of Avitus, Bishop of 



82 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

Vienne, 490-523. They are as follows — in a work on 
the Divinity of the Holy Spirit he quotes clause 23, 
'whom we read of as neither made, nor begotten, nor 
created.* Again: ^As it is characteristic of the Holy 
Ghost to proceed from the Father and the Son, the 
Catholic Faith, although it has not persuaded gainsayers, 
nevertheless has not gone beyond that statement in its 
rule of discipline.' There are parallels to this clause in 
Fragment xii. of a Dialogue against Gundobad, and in 
Fragment xviii. to clauses 3, 4, as in a fragment against 
the Arians to clause 34. 

Dom Morin may say that these are not sufficiently 
plain quotations. But the fact remains that no other 
creed-form is known to us which Avitus could be supposed 
to refer to, and his word ' read ' shows that he was not 
speaking of general opinions about Catholic Faith but of 
some definite statement of it. 

Behind Avitus we come to writers of the great mon- 
astery of Lerins, to which Caesarius went as a boy, 
although his stay was short. 

In the writings of Faustus, Bishop of Riez, whose 
ability as a theologian has been overshadowed by his 
Semi-Pelagianism, there are many parallels to the 
thought of the Quicumque, yet none which constrains us 
to say this must be a quotation. They would lose their 
force if translated, and must be studied in the original.* 

The parallels in the Warning against Heresies by 
Vincentius, sometime a fellow monk of Faustus, are 
striking, and have led several writers, especially Antelmi 
and Ommanney, to suggest him as the author. For 
example, Vincentius teaches clearly : ' Because, forsooth, 
there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, 
another of the Holy Ghost, but nevertheless of the 
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost there is 
not another, and another but one and the same nature. '^ 
The parallel to clause 3, 4 is obvious, and it is noteworthy 
that Faustus has the same thought in his mind when he 
distinguishes Father, Son, and Holy Ghost in the char- 
acteristic of the person as another {alter ).^ 

* See my Introduction, p, 299. 

« c. 19. 3 j)e spu. Seo. i. 



DATE AND AUTHORSHIP 33 

But the parallels in Vincentius to the teaching on the 
Incarnation are many of them strongly anti-Nestorian^ 
and he appears to give the very phrases of the Quicumque 
a turn to guard against Nestorian teaching about two Sons 
of God. Thus, in a parallel to clause 31, he writes ' The 
same begotten of the Father before the world, the same 
born of His Mother in the world,' 

The parallels are indeed ' close enough to warrant the 
conjecture that there is some relation between them and 
the Creed, and it is easier to believe that Vincentius used 
the Creed, than that any one in a subsequent generation 
or century, of less exact scholarship, picked out his 
phrases and wove them into a document of this kind.*^ 
We must remember also that if Vincentius was quoting, 
he would not think of the Quicumque as an important 
document in the sense in which he regarded as important 
the letter of S. Capreolus, which was read at the Council 
of Ephesus, to which he refers in c. 42. If he had 
written it himself he regarded its phrases as now in need of 
sharpening against the new Nestorian error. If not, we 
have no means of judging to what extent it was com- 
mended to him by regard for the author, or only by its 
intrinsic merits. 

A more important question lies behind that of the 
parallels in S. Augustine and S. Ambrose. We have to 
deal with a certain moment in the history of theological 
terms, when Arianism had been almost universally 
condemned, and no one could foretell its return to in- 
fluence through the victories of the Goths. The common 
sense of the Church was busy at work on certain formulas 
which experience taught men they might safely employ 
in speaking of the Holy 'Jrinity. The following quota- 
tion from S. Augustine appears to refer to such common 
talk rather than any formulary: 'But in this matter 
(i.e. the Catholic faith) some are disturbed when they 
hear that the Father is God, and the Son is God, and 
the Holy Ghost is God, and yet they are not three Gods 
but one God.' In the pages that followed he did more 
than any one to vindicate such teaching. 

I Introduction to the Creeds, p. 135. 




34 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

The recent work of Brewer shows that, to a far greater 
extent than was supposed, such parallels had already 
found expression in the teaching of S. Ambrose, to whom 
S. Augustine owed so much. These have been neglected 
hitherto, and our thanks are due to Dr. Brewer^ for 
his work, even if we are unable to follow the argument 
by which he endeavours to prove that S. Ambrose was 
the author. From my point of view the parallels do not 
go so far as S. Augustine's work On the Trinity, and 
his Enchiridion, which were probably known to the 
writer of the Quicumque. But the important inference 
from the parallels in S. Ambrose is this. They show that 
all the elements for the construction of the theology of the 
Quicumque were in the possession of the common mind 
of Church teachers just at the time when ApoUinarianism 
had been officially condemned, and also Priscillian, 
whose heresy on the Incarnation tended towards 
ApoUinarianism as his teaching on the Trinity towards 
Sabellianism. 



The Internal Evidence of the ' Quicumque* 

As regards the teaching on the Trinity the argument 
of Dr. Waterland still holds good, that in strength and 
acuteness it compares very favourably with similar 
teaching of the latter part of the fifth century as given, 
e.g., by Fulgentius. Dr. Waterland had not before him 
the evidence as to Priscillianism which is so exactly 
met. 

But the teaching on the Incarnation gives better 
promise of fixing, if not a date, at any rate a movement 
in the logical development of thought. 

Dom Morin makes merry over the old method which 
Waterland followed when he called attention to the 
absence of phrases found useful against Nestorius : 
' There is not a word of the Mother of God, or of one 
Son only, in opposition to two sons, or of God's being 
born, suffering, dying : which kind of expressions the 

1 Brewer: Das sogenannte Athanasianische Glaubenshe- 
Jcmntnis: ein Werk de^ heiligen Amhrosius. Paderboru, 1909. 



DATE AND AUTHORSHIP 3/5 

Creeds are full of after Nestorius's times, and after the 
Council of Ephesus.'^ 

Moriu suggests that the title ^Mother of God' only 
appears in western formularies under special circum- 
stances, e.g. in the Constitution of Pope Vigilius, and in 
the Profession of Faith of Pelagius i., but is absent from 
the great majority of other documents analogous to the 
Quicumque, from the Libellus of the Spanish Bishop Pastor 
in the middle of the fifth century to the Profession of 
Faith of Gregory the Great, c. GOO. There is the same 
lack of insistence on the term ' only Son of God,' which, 
though found in the Retractation of Leporius, c. 418, is 
sought in vain in the other expositions of the faith, even 
after the condemnation of Nestorius. He even goes so 
far as to call it impertinence to demand that the author 
of the Quicumque should say absolutely everything that 
must be said, and that with all the precision imaginable. 
He then indignantly applies the same method of 
reasoning to Waterland's arguments in regard of the 
illustration from the constitution of man in clause 
i]7, which was misused by Eutychians, so that some 
Catholic writers became shy of using it. Here Dom 
Morin makes a good point with a list of writers. Faustus 
of Riez, Mamertus Claudianus, Vigilius of Thapsus, John 
Maxentius, all continued to follow Augustine and 
Vincentius in using it despite the rise of Eutychianism. 
1 have no doubt that Dom Morin is right in this instance, 
and that we shall have to drop using this as an argument 
for the early date of the Quicumque. But I do not think 
that he is quite fair to the preceding argument, in that 
neither Waterland nor any one else suggested that the 
author should have put in all these points against 
Nestorianism if the heresy had arisen. That would be 
impertinence indeed. But inasmuch as none of them 
occurs, it seems clear that the heresy did not loom on 
the horizon. 

After all, the main gist of my argument is that the 

points raised are all anti-Apollinarian, the careful 

teaching on the two natures as whole and complete, 

the guarding against any idea of the conversion of the 

1 Op. cit. p. 149. 



36 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

Godhead into flesh, and the insistence on the idea of 'one 
Christ,' one person in two natures, as against heretical mis- 
representations of Catholic teaching. I repeat that it is 
precisely what was wanted to counteract Priscillian's 
teaching of Christ our God. And yet it is not written 
from a controversial, polemical standpoint, like the 
Spanish decrees. It is constructive in thought, written 
in a calm atmosphere, with regard to rhythm and style. 

In this argument I am glad to claim the support of 
Mr. Bethune Baker, who writes on the whole section, 
verses 32-39. ' Let us see (1) what is opposed, (2) what is 
maintained. (1) Opposed is conversion of divinity into 
flesh, and confusion of substance which means ^'confusion 
of God and man," as passages in Vincent and Augustine 
clearly shew. To these charges Nestorius was certainly 
not open. Apollinarians as certainly were, in their desire 
to avoid the risk of a double personality. (2) Maintained 
is the completeness of the Godhead and of the manhood 
(the former being in substance the same as the Father's, 
the latter in substance the same as His Mother's), and the 
assumption of humanity into God, in such a way that 
there are not two persons, but one ; that one being both 
God and man. 

' That is to say, we may recognise to the full the two 
natures (though it is the inclusive term substantia that is 
used), without fear that by so doing we shall be involved 
in recognition of a double personality. 

' There is nothing here that would hit Nestorians. The 
completeness of the humanity (as well as of the divinity) 
was a cardinal tenet with them, and they at any rate did 
not raise the difficulty of the union of the two substances 
in a single person. 

'The real aim of the creed is to uphold (1) two complete 
substances, (2) united in one person. This is exactly 
what we should expect from an opponent of Apollinarian- 
ism ; and the incidental phrases *^ of the substance of his 
mother," '' born in the world," " of a reasoning soul and 
human flesh," and the reference later on in the Creed to 
the Descent into Hell, on which much stress is laid by 
writers against Apollinarius, favour the conclusion that 
the composition of the Creed may be assigned with the 



DATE AND AUTHORSHIP 37 

greatest probability to the period during which Apollin- 
arianism was rife, preceding the outbreak of Nestorianism 
in428A.D.'» 

Theories of Authorship 

It may seem needless to discuss any theories of 
authorship in view of Dom Morin's outspoken and 
very trenchant criticism. But the last word has not 
yet been spoken on the subject, and in the meantime 
we must retrace our steps over the familiar ground. 

As I understand the drift of Dom Morin's argument, 
the style of the Quicumque points to some unknown later 
writer of the school of encyclopaedists like Isidore, rather 
than a vigorous writer like Faustus. Opinions will 
always vary as to a point of this kind, but the distinc- 
tion of the style of the Quicumque is so marked that I 
cannot look for it later than the fifth century. Caesarius 
was in closer touch than Isidore with the culture of the 
past, when there was a living tradition, so to speak, not 
mere academic imitations. Caesarius had known men 
like Faustus of the School of Lerins, living on in ripe old 
age while the rising tide of barbarism threatened to 
engulf art and learning. While I cannot believe that 
any writer of the sixth or seventh century could have 
written it except Caesarius himself, I am still of opinion 
that further evidence is needed to prove that he wrote 
it, which can overrule the strong impression that it was 
known to Avitus and Vincentius before his time. 

Of other possible authors 1 must name first Victricius, 
Bishop of Rouen, whose claim to consideration has been 
too often ignored. There is no doubt that he wrote an 
apology for his faith on the lines of the Quicumque, and 
on anti-Apollinarian lines too, but the evidence is too 
fragmentary to create a satisfactory argument. 

The claims of Vincentius have been put forward very 
ably by Mr. Ommanney, but they depend entirely on the 
assumption that he is quoting the Quicumque in all the 
parallel passages of his Warning against Heresies, and 

1 Introditction to Early History of Christian Doctrine, p. 263* 
Methuen, 1903. 



38 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

that is no proof of authorship. His style is more diffuse 
and abounds in poetic similies, whereas the Quicumque 
represents rather the grammar than the poetry of 
theology. 

In spite of all that has been written against it, I still 
venture to put forward the name of Honoratus, the 
founder of Lerins, afterwards Archbishop of Aries. The 
attraction of his character, his force and ability, manifest 
in drawing round him such a wonderful group of men as 
the first monks of Lerins were without question, proves 
that in him we have before us one of the master minds 
of the age. The story has been often told, but it bears 
repetition, how there came to that island home men 
grown grey in public service, lawyers, men of affairs, 
men like Honoratus, himself of noble birth yet content 
to surrender wealth and position, it they might share the 
happiness of a simple life hid with Christ in God. But 
they did not hide their light under a bushel ; fortified by 
prayer and meditation, many of them came out again to 
be leaders of the Gallican Church. Honoratus set the 
example, and was followed by his pupil Hilary in the see 
of Aries. Eucherius, who with his wife and family 
lived on a neighbouring island, yet shared their disci- 
pline and their hope, became, as Bishop of Lyons, in 
the opinion of a great thinker of the day, Mamertus 
Claudianus, one of the greatest of the great Bishops of 
his age. Lupus, as Bishop of Troyes, won distinction 
by persuading Attila, the dreaded Hun, to spare his city, 
and when he visited Britain to combat the heresy of 
Pelagius, won an extraordinary success by his learning 
and eloquence. Faustus, Bishop of Riez, though sus- 
pected as a semi-Pelagian, is coming now to his own 
as a theologian of rare capacity. 

Bare as this summary is, it speaks plainly of Hilary's 
personal influence, and we know from Faustus and 
Hilary what careful instructions Honoratus used to give 
to his brethren, precisely on the lines laid down in the 
Quicumque. In their memorial sermons they speak with 
one voice. 

Hilary writes : — 

• A daily witness wert thou, moreover, in thy most sincere die- 



DATE AND AUTHORSHIP 39 

courses of the confession of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit ; nor, 
surely, has any one treated so emphatically, so clearly of the 
Trinity of the Godhead, since thou didst distinguish the Persons 
therein, and yet didst associate them in eternity and majesty of 
glory.* 

Faustus writes : — 

'Therefore, beloved, that we may gain that which he has 
obtained, let us first follow that which he taught; and first 
of all, let us hold the right faith : let us believe Father and Son 
and Holy Ghost (to be) one God. For where there is unity there 
cannot be inequality : and since the Son, because He is God, is 
perfect, complete, and full, that fulness cannot certainly be 
described as "less."' 

I do not of course maintain that these references to the 
Instructions of Honoratus prove that he was the author 
of the Quicumque, but they are worthy of consideration 
if on other grounds the date of the composition is put 
back behind 450 a.d. 

Dom Morin held for a time that Martin of Braga 
might have been the author. It is unlikely that the 
Quicumque can have had a Gallican origin if its date 
is later than 580 a.d. The conditions of culture 
in Gaul preclude such an idea, whereas in Spain 
Martin of Braga, who kept up a correspondence both 
with Gregory of Tours and Fortunatus of Poitiers^ 
kept up also an excellent Latin style Dom Morin 
quoted a passage^ which seemed to him to prove that 
Martin was capable of composing the Quicumque.^ But 
he did not quote a single passage in which there is 
anything like a parallel to the thought of the Creed, 

1 De formula honestae uitae. Lauda parce, uitupera parcius. 
Nam similiter est reprehensibilis nimia laudatio, ut immode- 
rata uituperatio ; ilia siquidem adulatione, ista malignitate sus- 
pecta habetur. Testimonium ueritati, non amicitiae reddas. 
Cum consideratione promitte : plenius quam promiseris praesta. 
Si prudens fwerit animus tuus, tribus temporibus dispensetur: 
praesentia ordina, futura praeuide, praeterita recordare. Nam 
qui praesentia non cogitat, obliuiosus et fatuus apellatur; 
qui nil de praeterito cogitat, perdit uitam ; qui nil de futuro 
praemeditatur, in omnia incautus incidit . . . Prudens num- 
quam marcet otio ; aliquando animum remissum habet, numquam 
solutum : accelerat tarda, perplexa expedit, dura moUit, exaequat 
ardua . . . cunctus esto benignus, nemini blandus, paucis 
famillaris, omnibus aequus. 



40 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

such as we find in the writings of Caesarius. Discussion 
therefore of the two styles of Martin, the rustic, in which 
he wrote his popular sermons, and the classical, in which 
he discoursed learnedly on ethics, is beside the point. 
We should certainly iike to find the Rule of faith and 
of holy religion with which he is credited by Isidore of 
Seville. But with his usual candour, Dom Morin gave 
us reasons for asserting that it is not likely to corre- 
spond to the Quicumque, because Martin never uses the 
expression ' without doubt ' of verse 2 ; for quicumque he 
always uses quisquis, and in his teaching on the Resur- 
rection inserts in his creed the word alive {vimis)^ which 
has no parallel in the Quicumque. 

The one argument which I think must be more fully 
investigated is that based on the Spanish origin of docu- 
ments similar to the Quicumque, of which Dr. Kiinstle 
also has made much. 

ThefamousZ/»6p//M.9Firfei,sometimesknownas the 'Faith 
of Phoebadius,' and in another form as the ' Faith of 
Damasus,' in which it was quoted by the Toledan Council 
of G33, has been traced by Dom Wilmart to the pen of 
Gregory of Elvira. The strange work On the Trinity ^ 
attributed to Athanasius, Vigilius of Thapsus, and 
others, had considerable influence on the development 
of Trinitarian teaching, also dates from the fifth century 
and is of Spanish origin. To the same movement of 
thought are attached the Libellus in modum Symboli of 
Pastor, and the Regular definitionum of Syagrius, two 
Galilean Bishops of the fifth century. A century later 
Ps. Ambrosius, compiler of the Tractatus de Trinitate, 
is a Spanish writer, and Dom Morin is tempted to refer 
to Spain the Contra Varimadum of Idatius Clarus (Ps. 
Vigilius), and perhaps the Breviarium fidei adversos 
hereticoK. There is much more spade work to do in the 
editing of these anonymous formularies, but we may 
grant, without prejudice, that they are of Spanish origin, 
and make it possible to believe that the Quicumque also 
is Spanish. 

Dom Morin ventured, however, upon a dangerous argu- 
ment when he inferred a Spanish origin for the Quicumque 
from the fact that it is quoted side by side with Spanish 



DATE AND AUTHORSHIP 41 

writings in an important series of MSS Mere juxta- 
position with the writings of Isidore of Seville and 
Martin of Braga does not prove anything apart from 
evidence that the whole collection comes from Spain. 
Not one of these MSS. was actually written in Spain. 
The Ambrosian MS. O. 212 Sup. of the seventh or eighth 
century was written in Bobbio, and includes a book of 
Gennadius as well as Spanish documents. The S. 
Petersburg MS. Q. I. 15 is from Peronne, and the fact 
that works of Isidore follow does not prove that the 
monks got the Quicumque from Spain. The Karlsruhe 
MS. ccxxix. contains works by Isidore and Martin of 
Braga, and theFreising MS. at Munich (eighth century). 
Cod. lat. 6330, contains works of Isidore and of Gregory 
of Elvira, but there is nothing in either case to prove 
that the whole collection is Spanish ! 

The collections of Canons, at the head of which the 
Quicumque figures, those of S. Maur and He'roval, con- 
tain, it is true, some Spanish Canons, but not in immediate 
proximity to the Quicumque so as to suggest that it came 
iVom a similar source. 

Dom Morin could not show us a single MS. written in 
Spain to back his argument. If the famous Benedictine 
Missionary Priminius was a Spaniard, this calls attention 
to the appearance of the Quicumque in the Homilarium of 
Freising (Clm. 6298, eighth century), and the Collection 
of Canons of Lorsch {Vatic. Palat. lat. 574, s. viii. ix.), 
along the route of Priminius and his friends, who spread 
the knowledge of the Creed at the end of the Mero- 
vingian period. I am grateful to Dom Morin for forcing 
us to weigh all such possibilities. 

Although he has definitely abandoned his theory that 
Martin of Braga may have been the author,* his vigorous 
criticism has done good by helping us to study the whole 
problem from a new point of view, and the following 
sentences admirably express both the literary merit of 
the Creed and the inference that the author lived in 
touch with classical traditions : — 

1 Cf. an article in the Ovxirdian of Oct. 27, 1911, in which 
I have discussed further details. 



45 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

' This uninterrupted succession of compact propositions, this 
arranging in line of simple lucid formulas, almost dry in their 
majestic severity, which exclude all superfluous oratory and 
nevertheless are set so harmoniously in a rhythm full of charm ; 
there is something artistic as well as authoritative about the 
whole combination, in which we recognise the master, admir- 
ably in touch with doctrinal tradition, but also accustomed to 
live in contact with the classics, and fashioning naturally on their 
lines the mould in which he shall throw the quintessence of his 
work,' 



PART II.— THE TEACHING 
CHAPTER IV 

THE EARLY HISTORY OP THE DOCTRINE 
OF THE HOLY TRINITY 

Before we can rightly understand the balanced anti- 
theses of the Athanasian Creed, before we can use the 
fourth Invocation of our Litany with true enlighten- 
ment, we must form a clear conception of the develop- 
ment of the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity in the early 
centuries. 

The Old Testament, though it does not 'prove' the 
doctrine of the Trinity, contains wonderful hints of the 
glory of the future Revelation in Christ. We may read 
our fuller knowledge into the 'Holy, Holy, Holy,' of 
the Angelic Anthem in Isaiah's Vision (Is. 6^), iTor our 
own purpose in devotional reading. We may note that 
the personification of the Divine Wisdom in the Psalms, 
and in later books, e.g. the Apocrypha, prepared the way 
for Christian doctrine in the future. But we shrink 
from pressing the meaning in any case. S. John speaks 
of Isaiah as seeing the glory of Christ, and speaking of 
Him (Jn. 12 "). This fits in with early Christian teach- 
ing that all Theophanies of the Old Testament were 
manifestations of the Eternal Word, not expositions of 
His relationship to the Father. Isaiah probably had no 
definite idea of the distinctions in the Godhead, which 
could not be intelligibly taught until the Apostles, 
through their spokesman S. Peter, had confessed their 
belief in the Lord as the Son of God, and after the Re- 

43 



44 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

surrection had attained firm conviction that such belief 
would be the foundation truth of their teaching. 

For Apologetic purposes it is best to leave the Gospels 
for the moment, and to turn first to S. Paul's admitted 
Epistles as the earliest Christian documents, which may 
be proved to support the teaching of the Baptismal 
Formula (Matt. 28 ^^), and to explain the teaching of 
the Lord about the Holy Spirit as recorded in the Gospel 
of S. John. In these Epistles we see belief in the Spirit 
as Guide and Teacher put to the test and justified in the 
ordinary intercourse of human life. 

The early Christians were conscious that in their 
spiritual experience they were reconciled to God in 
Christ, were sanctified by the Holy Ghost, were guided 
day by day, as no prophet or psalmist of the Old Testa- 
ment had ever been guided before them, by an inward 
voice, sympathetic, tender, inspiring, whom they de- 
lighted to name the Spirit of Jesus. This ' deep con- 
sciousness of a changeless will to bless ' was impressed 
on their minds. But they had no time to explain its 
different aspects, or to co-ordinate them. Our Christian 
theology is the analysis of our experience, ours and 
theirs, but it needs time for development and still more 
time for expression. Indeed we may fairly sum up the 
whole course of development under the three words. 
Impressions, Analysis, Expression. 

From this point of view the New Testament writers 
and the Apostolic Fathers belong to the first period, and 
supply mainly Impressions, although S. Paul's letters 
give us the first beginnings of Analysis. Thus in the 
Benediction of 2 Cor. 13'*: *The grace of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion 
of the Holy Ghost, be with you all,' he states the facts 
of Christian experience as to the working of the Blessed 
Trinity in our Redemption and Sanctification, so that the 
Father's love is manifested in the Lord's grace, and that 
grace is assured in the possession of the indwelling 
Spirit. But the deep thought of 1 Cor. 2^^^, when he 
writes of the relation of the Spirit to the Father as part 
of his belief in Divine self-consciousness, taken with the 
passage in which he teaches that it is the Spirit who 



EARLY HISTORY OF DOCTRINE OF TRINITY 45 

teaches us to confess Jesus as the Lord (1 Cor. 12^), 
abundantly proves that S. Paul had worked out for himself 
a theolopcal theory, which, while it fitted in with the 
discourses recorded in St. John's Gospel, whether known 
to him or not, was precisely on the lines of later 
speculation. And we may be thankful that the great 
Apostle of the Gentiles, during his quiet years of 
meditation, had been enabled so far to analyse the 
content of the Revelation which so profoundly changed 
his life, before the years of active enterprise and 
missionary effort, which left him little time for such 
thought. 

Along the same lines we may interpret the mysterious 
teaching of the Baptismal Formula (Matt. 28 ^®) by the 
discourses in the Gospel of St. John. When our Lord 
says of Himself, ' I and the Father are one' (John lO^o), we 
understand ' one in nature.' But it is only fair to admit 
that the Arian controversy cleared up the ideas of 
Christian men, and showed how useless is any partial 
explanation of the great mystery of the Divine side of 
our Lord's life. Not by deification of His Manhood, by 
any process of adoption by God or communication of 
infused grace through the Divine Spirit, did He become 
what we recognise as ^ the mystery of godliness ; He 
who was manifest in the flesh ' (1 Tim. 4 ^^). 

So in regard of His relation to the Spirit, who pro- 
ceeds from the Father through the Son. After Pentecost, 
full understanding came of the words, Hhe Comforter 
whom I will send unto you from the Father . . . shall 
bear witness of me' (Jn. 15 2^). Sent in the Son's name. 
He shall teach, ' shall guide into all the truth : for He 
shall not speak from Himself (John 16 ^^). The familiar 
words are as music in our ears, telling of One whom we 
rightly worship and glorify with the Father and the Son 
as of one substance, power, and majesty. But the main 
point is that we do not, either in our analysis or our 
expression, go beyond what was impressed on the hearts 
of the first Christians. For S. Paul's admitted Epistles 
stand behind the Gospel of S. John to prove the exist- 
ence of these elements in the earliest teaching. With 
entire confidence, therefore, we come to the great 



46 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

summary of the whole Revelation in S. John's First 
Epistle (4^): *God is love.' It is no doubt true to say 
that the context leads us only to meditate on the 
spiritual and moral relation in which God stands to men, 
that the Gospel is the teaching of love in action, before 
any question can be raised as to God's love in the 
mystery of His Bein^. Even if S. John cannot be said 
to refer explicitly to eternal distinctions within the 
Godhead, such distinctions must be implied in the 
Revelation of Love, which is antecedent to the work of 
Creation, and must include one who is loved with one 
who loves. As we shall see later, S. Augustine was 
justified {de Trin. vi. and viii.) in his argument that, if 
God is essentially Love, Divine Personality must be 
regarded as Triune. 

The Apostolic Fathers do not carry us much further 
in the direction of explicit statement about the Divine 
Persons into whose Name they baptized, i.e. into union 
with God our Father through the Son in the Spirit. 
Clement of Rome sounds the note of S. Paul's Benedic- 
tion : * Have we not one God and one Christ and one 
Spirit of grace.''' (1 Cor. 46"). Ignatius of Antioch de- 
velops teaching concerning the life and work of the Lord 
familiar to us in our historic faith, expressing his belief 
in the Father and the Son and the Spirit {ad Magn. 13) 
in the same order. 

We may readily admit that Hermas, the Christian 
prophet of Rome, made some confusion between the 
Lord's Divine Nature, 'the eternal spirit through which 
He offered Himself without blemish to God' (Heb. 9^*), 
and the Holy Spirit who led Him to the Cross as to 
the wilderness (Luke 4 2). There are passages in which 
Hermas comes much nearer to the truth than when he 
implies such a confusion. But for our present purpose 
it is enough to point out that Hermas does not use the 
technical language of systematic theologians even of his 
own age, and must not be judged by the same standard. 

During the controversies of the second and third 
centuries the work of Analysis began on a wider scale 
with reflection on the doctrine of God the Son, whom 
S. John's Gospel taught them to speak of as the Word 



EARLY HISTORY OF DOCTRINE OF TRINITY 47 

(Logos) with respect to His timeless and pre-existeiit 
life. 

According to Justin Martyr Christians are really 
Monotheists, yet recognise the Deity in Christ. He 
speaks of the Logos in relation to God before Creation 
as numerically other (or distinct), and as 'being with 
the Father,' i.e. as an individual person. He is not the 
absolute God who is unoriginate. His Mission is to 
interpret the Father to men. 

Conflict with Gnosticism led Irenaeus much further. 
He laid stress on the eternal coexistence of the Logos 
with the Father, denied that He was ever *^made,' 
distinguishing creation from generation. But in regard 
of the relations between the Father and the Son, he 
could only say ' The Father is God revealing Himself, 
the Son is God revealed.' The Father is the invisible of 
the Son, the Son is the visible of the Father. He is one 
and the same Person, Jesus Christ, the Logos, the Son 
of God, who created the world, was born as man, and 
suffered and ascended into heaven still man as well as 
God. He uses characteristic metaphors also to express 
the relation of the Spirit to the Father and the Son. 
He calls the Son and the Spirit the two hands of God. 
The Son is His Word, the Spirit His Wisdom. 'Together 
they minister to the Father, as the hands and intellect 
minister to man, not as though created or external to 
the Life of God, but eternal as God Himself.' ^ 

It was Theophilus of Antioch who first used the term 
Triad (Trinity) speaking of God and His Word and His 
Wisdom. He applied Philo's terms 'indwelling' and 
' proceeding ' to the Logos. Till the creation the Logos 
dwelt in God as His mind and intelligence. Then God 
begat Him as proceeding, firstborn of all creation, not 
Himself being made empty of the Logos but begetting 
the Logos and continually consorting with His Logos. 

There was some danger in such speculation lest the 
Logos should be identified with the Father. The specu- 
lations of the Modalist Monarchians, as they are called, 
who thought of the Son and the Spirit only as temporary 

1 Adv. Haer. see iv. praef. and 14 and 34. Bethune Baker, 
Christian Doctrine, p. 200 u. 



48 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

aspects of the Father, brought the question to a clear 
issue. Is the Trinity only a series of changing aspects, 
as Sabellius taught then, and as Swedenborg taught in 
modern times ? 

There was need of advance in terminology through 
which to express the eternal distinctions in the un- 
changing Being of God. The terms Person and Sub- 
stance, which afterwards became current coin in Western 
theology, were freely used by the African lawyer 
Tertullian. Through his training as a jurist he was 
led into some dangerous speculations. As in the 
doctrine of the Atonement, so in the doctrine of the 
Trinity, legal interpretations of such terms are apt to 
be misleading. If a Person (persona) in the eye of the 
law is one who possesses property, a corporation may be 
called a person, and a theory of fictitious personalities 
may be set up. Similarly, 'Substance' in law means 
property, as when we speak of a man of substance, mean- 
ing a man of fortune. There might be different kinds of 
'substance,' each marked by special characteristics or 
'properties.' So the description of the Divine existence 
would be — one substance shared by three persons in one 
condition. At the same time, since ' manhood ' is a sub- 
stance owned by all men as men, there is no confusion of 
thought in speaking of Christ, who is God and Man, as 
possessing the substance of Godhead and of Manhood 
while He is one Person. 

Tertullian writes of ' the mystery of the providential 
order which arranged the unity in a trinity, setting in 
their order three— Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — three, 
however, not in condition but in relation, and not in 
substance but in mode of existence, and not in power but 
in special characteristics ; yes, rather of one substance 
and of one status and power, inasmuch as it is one God 
from whom these relations and modes and special charac- 
teristics are reckoned in the name of the Father and of 
the Son and of the Holy Spirit.' ^ 

Tertullian's teaching has led Dr. Harnack to put 
forward his theory that dogmatic teaching on the Trinity 
has been built up on ' a theory of legal fictions ' with no 
1 Adv. Prax. 2, 



EARLY HISTORY OF DOCTRINE OF TRINITY 49 

more foundation in fact than the conscienceless person- 
ality of a Joint-stock Company created hy lawyers for 
legal purposes. This is an unfortunate analogy, and the 
argument is untrustworthy. Tertullian also employed 
the wider philosophical use of the terms ' person ' and 
'substance/ afterwards put to better account by Hilary 
of Poitiers. 'Substance is that which is.' 'A person is 
one who acts.' Thus in Adv. Prax. 12 Tertullian main- 
tains, in regard to the Godhead, the substance in three 
(sc. ' persons') who together form the whole. ' The Son 
I derive from no other source but from the substance of 
the Father.' • 'We say that the Son is produced from the 
Father, but not separated from Him. Thus the root pro- 
duces the shrub, the spring the stream, and the sun the 
ray. The being of both is one and the same. That 
which proceeds is second to that from which it proceeds, 
and when you say 'second' you say that there are two. 
Thus he taught the distinct personality of the Son, with- 
out thought of subordination. He continues : ' The 
Spirit is third from God and the Son, just as the fruit 
which comes from the shrub is third from the root, and 
the river which flows from the stream is third from the 
spring, and the peak of the ray third from the sun.' ^ 

It is obvious that Tertullian's language is open to 
criticism, but when theological language was in the 
making, it was no small achievement to move about 
thus easily in regions of thought not before realised. 
Later theologians were not misled but were able to sift 
Tertullian's speculations, and assimilated the thoughts 
which had approved themselves to the Christian con- 
sciousness. 

For the next great step in analysis we must turn to 
the Christian Platonists of Alexandria. Clement raised 
'the idea of the Logos, who is Christ, into the highest 
principle in the religious explanation of the world and 
in the exposition of Christianity.' He taught that the 
Logos was eternally with the Father, who never was with- 
out Him as Son. The being, which He has, is the same 
as the being of God the Father. One must assume, 
says Dr. Harnack, that the word Homoovsios, *of one 
1 Adv. Prax. 8. 



^0 THE AtriANASIAN CREED 

essence/ was really familiar to Clement as a designation 
of the community of nature both with God and with men 
possessed by the Logos. The word was misused by 
heretics and fell into disfavour, so that it was a long 
time before its use in the Creed of the Nicene Council 
ceased to be opposed in certain schools of thought. 

Clement's greater pupil Origen advanced to the 
thought of an Eternal Generation, the Son proceeding 
from the Father as the will from the mind, or the 
radiance from the light. It cannot be said that there 
was a time when the Son was not. Origen maintained 
His distinct personality, His essential Godhead, and His 
co-eternity with the Father, though he placed Him as 
an intermediary between God and the universe, and 
spoke of the unity of the Father and the Son as moral, 
and insisted on the Father's pre-eminence as the one 
source and fountain of Godhead in such terms as to lead 
many to emphasise unduly the subordination of the Son. 
He was the first to use the term God-Man to describe the 
unity in which the two natures are combined in Christ. 

Origen's teaching brings us by an easy stage to the 
great controversy of the fourth century. 

Arius and his friends were disciples of Lucius the 
Martyr in the school of Antioch, which, to say the least, 
minimised the Divine Glory of Christ, and expounded 
the Scriptures with a false literalism. The extreme 
lengths to which Alexandrine teachers had gone in 
allegorical teaching led inevitably to a reaction. But 
when Arius demanded that the mystery of the Incarnation 
should be rationalised by adherence to a cold, bare logic, 
when he asserted that the Son of God, because He is a 
Son, must have come into existence after His Father, 
when he argued that He is in some sense a created Being, 
holier than angels, fairer than all sons of men in moral 
excellence, good supremely, but not 'God of God' as 
sharing from all eternity tlie very Being of God, then the 
common-sense of the Cliurch declared against him in 
terms which were adopted by the First Council of Nicaea, 
with only two dissentients. Their opinion was endorsed 
by subsequent Councils, and by the consentient voice of 
the whole Catholic Church, in the use of our Nicene 



EARLY HISTORY OF DOCTRINE OF TRINITY 51 

Creed. I say our Nicene Creed to distinguish it from 
the Creed of the First Nicene Council, because it repre- 
sents a form of Baptismal Creed, probably of the 
Jerusalem Church, into which the most important 
phrases of that Council's Creed have been grafted. But 
we need not concern ourselves here with the details of 
the Arian Controversy or with the history of the Nicene 
Creed, on which I have written in another volume of this 
series.^ 

The most important of the phrases referred to was the 
ancient term Homoousios, 'of one essence or substance,* 
which was brought out to meet the evasions of Arian 
theologians in spite of much uncertainty as to the 
question whether or not it had been put out of court 
by the condemnation of Paul of Samosata, who had pro- 
bably used it in some unorthodox way. S. Athanasius 
was only a deacon at the Council of Nicaea, and it is not 
known what measure of influence he exercised in its 
deliberations. To the end he was loyal to it, or rather to 
the truth which it guarded. Thus, when men like Cyril 
of Jerusalem were prepared t^ come over to the Nicene 
position, he was willing to plead with them gently as to 
the use of their own term Homoiousios, 'of like substance,' 
as being true so far as it went, yet as not fully guarding 
against Arian mistakes. If any loophole is left for 
thinking of Christ as a created being, it is idolatry for us 
to worship Him. And for Athanasius not less than the 
author of the Athanasian Creed, ' The Catholic Faith is 
this — that we worship.' Faith is the root but devotion 
is the flower. Cut the root and the flower must wither. 
This metaphor suggests a reflection upon a phase of the 
Arian controversy which is often forgotten. The Catholics 
and the Arians used the same Scriptures, the same church 
buildings, the same Liturgies, the same hymns, though 
the pressure of controversy soon led to the composition 
of hymns of the day embodying the rival theologies ; 
when strife waxed hot rival congregations grew up which 
alternately appropriated churches to their exclusive use 
until the year 381, when a decree of the Emperor 
Theodosius began : ' Let the heretics possess no place 
1 The Nicene Creed. Rivingtons. 



52 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

for celebrating their mysteries.' The decree became of 
course a dead letter when Ariaii Goths successfully in- 
vaded the Western Empire. But whenever Arianism 
was raised to power it failed utterly through *the 
incurable defect of its method.' In plain words, it pro- 
posed worship which was no better than idolatry. As 
Professor Gwatkin has so clearly shown : 'Arianism was 
an illogical compromise. It went too far for heathenism, 
not far enough for Christianity. It conceded Christian 
worship to the Lord, though it made Him no better than 
a heathen demigod.' ^ 

The history of the decaying inspiration of Arian hymns 
and prayers is as yet an unwritten chapter of general 
Church History, partly because the materials have not been 
collected, partly because the importance of the subject has 
not been recognised. Yet such a study could scarcely fail 
to prove illuminating when one considers on the one hand 
the perennial freshness and beauty of thought in the 
great hymn Te Deum laudamus, which comes to us from 
the close of the Arian Controversy, and on the other the 
religious failure of Milton's Paradise Lost, despite the 
extraordinary genius of the poet, as due to the Arianising 
tendency of his theology. 

To return to S. Athanasius. The main difficulty 
which confronted him when he tried to express the 
teaching of the Church on the Trinity in Unity was this, 
that he had no word to express Personality. >V^hen he 
came to explain the relations of the Divine Persons he 
could only say 0XK09 Koi aWo? Koi aWos. But according 
to the phraseology of the Nicene Council vnoa-Taais 
(hypostasis) suhst-Ance = ova-ia (ousia) being, and he dared 
not use the term npoa-toTrov (prosopon) aspect, as savour- 
ing of Sabellianism. 

The word ovaia (ousia) expresses primarily real ex- 
istence, actual being. Plato's Ideas are the realities as 
contrasted with appearances on earth. Each class of 
things has its particular ouo-ta = idea. But it was 
Aristotle who fixed for later times the usages of the 
word. To him, beside the meaning possessions, property 
( = Lat. substantia), it expressed real, concrete existence, 
1 Studies of Arianism, p. 273. 



EARLY HISTORY OF DOCTRINE OF TRINITY 63 

It may be used of the whole entity, or of the matter, or 
the form of which every perceptible substance is con- 
ceived by Aristotle as consisting-. Or it may be used 
= <^i;<rts, nature, the sum-total of the attributes. 

vTroaraais (hypostasis) is a later word and rare. It 
meant literally 'a standing beneath,' i.e. of the action of 
subsiding, or that which remains as the result, a sedi- 
ment. But by philosophers it was used as an equivalent 
for ovo-ia, expressing the essential substratum, foundation 
of a thing = vehicle of all its qualities. Origen tried to 
distinguish ovaia (ousia) from vTroaracris {hypostasis), but 
the use of hypostasis as the equivalent of ousia stood firm. 
As the Arian controversy proceeded some theologians 
distinguished ousia as expressing existence or essence or 
substantial entity of the Trinity as God, and hypostasis 
as expressing the existence in a particular mode, the 
manner of being of the Three Persons. The Cappadocian 
Fathers, Basil and the Gregories, were active in securing 
currency for this use. So the terms passed together into 
Catholic use. 

irpoa-oiiTov (prosopon) in the New Testament means 
presence, or outward show, or character. In 2 Cor. 4® 
S. Paul uses it of Christ, ^the light of the knowledge 
of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,* where it 
is almost like the use of the Latin word persona=an 
actor's mask. But the word was spoilt by Sabellian mis- 
use, though, like persona, it was just the word that was 
wanted to express permanent personality attached to 
the names of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and properly 
safeguarded that personality. 

As a matter of fact, a distinct advance in the study of 
psychology was needed before terms could be settled. 
Thus it is that the influence of S. Augustine has been so 
marked and so beneficial in the history of Christian 
doctrine. Led on in his strivings after self-knowledge, 
of which he has given us so vivid a record in his 
Confessions, he was called to analyse the mystery of his 
own triune personality and illustrate it with psychological 
metaphors. Then it became possible to use the term 
persona, person, and mean by it permanent personality 
without d«n^er, So that we may even say, |)aradoxic^| 



M THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

as it may seem, that the Athanasian Creed, which owes 
so much to the influence of S. Augustine, is not the mere 
outcome of subtle metaphysical speculation that it is 
often asserted to be, but represents the advent of 
Psychology to aid Theology when Metaphysics could do 
no more. And this is a point which should interest the 
present generation, so prone as they are to complain of 
metaphysical subleties in the Creeds, which modern 
Psychology is to brush away like cobwebs ! The fact is 
that S. Augustine's Confessions are coming to be 
regarded in their true light as one of the few epoch- 
making books in the history of human thought. 

Before we study the Confessions, however, we must 
turn to another writer, S. Hilary of Poitiers, to find the 
connecting link between the teaching of S. Athanasius 
and the teaching of S. Augustine on the triune Person- 
ality of God. 

S. Hilary of Poitiers. 

S. Hilary of Poitiers came to Christian belief from 
philosophic paganism late in life. He was a man trained 
in afiFairs, steeped in the culture of his age. He accepted 
the teaching of the Old Testament because he found in 
the Revelation of God to Moses at the Burning Bush, 
when the Name ' I am that 1 am' was spoken, just what 
his mind craved for of belief in one almighty Creator and 
Preserver of the universe. Then in the first chapter of 
S. John's Gospel he was led on to believe that in the 
mystery of Divine Being God was not solitary, 'In the 
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, 
and the W^ord was God ' (John 1 ^). His own account of 
his conversion by this line of study is one of the most 
interesting passages in early Christian literature. He 
became a Christian and even a Bishop before he heard of 
the Arian controversy.^ He was at first suspicious of 
S. Athanasius, having heard garbled reports about his 
teaching, but he rejected Arian teaching by instinct as 
unworthy of a Christian regenerated by fellowship with 
the Trinity. He tells us that he had never heard the 
I Pe Syn. 9L 



EARLY HISTORY OF DOCTRINE OF TRINITY 66 

first Nicene Creed until he was about to go into exile for 
the faith which it guarded. He concentrated all the 
powers of his mind upon the construction of a philosophy 
of religion which should offer a working hypothesis of 
pure thought in relation to the Baptismal Formula, *into 
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost ' (Matt. 28 2»). He spent some of the best years of 
his life working out his train of thought. His great 
work On the Incarnation, better known to us as his 
work On the Trinity, a solid attempt to build up a con- 
structive argument on the foundation thought of Divine 
Self-Consciousness, the deep conviction that God the 
Father must find for the satisfaction of His eternal 
thought, not without but within Himself, the eternal 
object of His thought in the Eternal Word. It was 
S. Hilary's profound interpretation of the philosophical 
aspect of the Scriptural doctrine of Baptism 'into the 
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost,' that justifies the speculation of the first part of 
the Quicumque. But it was his misfortune that he was 
more misquoted by Priscilliau than he was quoted by any 
other writer in the next half century ! Commenting on 
the words. Believe, if only by My works, that the Father is 
in Me, and I in the Father (John 10 3^, cf. 14"), and 
again, / and the Father are one (John 10 ^o), he writes : — 

' If the names which correspond to realities, when intelligibly 
used, impart to us any true information, then He who is seen in 
Another by the eye of understanding is not different in nature 
from that Other ; not different in kind, since He abides in the 
Father, and the Father in Him ; not separate, since Both are One. 
Perceive their unity in the indivisibility of their nature, and 
apprehend the mystery of that indivisible nature by regarding the 
One as the mirror of the Other. But remember that He is the 
mirror, not as the image reflected by the splendour of a nature 
outaide Himself, but as being a living nature, indistinguishable 
from the Father's living nature, derived wholly from the whole of 
His Father's, having the Father's in Him, because He is the 
Only-begotten, and abiding in the Father, because He is God.'i 

S. Hilary used the terms persona, person, and substantia, 
substance, as one would expect, with a philosophical, not 

1 P^ Trin. ix, 69. 



56 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

a legal trend of meaning. For him persona is one who 
acts, and substantia is that which exists. He was a great 
student of Origen, but owed more to his own reflections 
on the teaching of Holy Scripture than to any teacher. 

Converted late in life from philosophic paganism, he 
brought to the service of the Church a well-trained mind, 
and a sincere and sympathetic spirit, in which lie shrank 
from the perils of speculation. The following paragraphs 
may suffice to show how clearly he saw through Arianism, 
how profoundly he had meditated on the mystery of the 
Divine Name : — 

' Certain teachers of our present day assert that the Image and 
Wisdom and Power of God was produced out of nothing and in 
time. They do this to save God, regarded as Father of the 
Son, from being lowered to the Son's level. The}' are fearful lest 
this birth of the Son from Him should deprive Him of His glory, 
and therefore come to God's rescue by styling His Son a creature 
made out of nothing, in order that God may live on in solitary 
perfection without a Son born of Himself and partaking His 
nature. "What wonder that their doctrine of the Holy Ghost 
should be different from ours, when they presume to subject the 
Giver of that Holy Ghost to creation, and change, and non- 
existence. Thus do they destroy the consistency and complete- 
ness of the mystery of the faith. They break up the absolute 
unity of God by assigning differences of nature where all is 
clearly common to Each ; they deny the Father by robbing the 
Son of his true Sonship ; they deny the Holy Ghost in their 
blindness to the facts that we possess Him, and that Christ gave 
Him. They betray ill-trained souls to ruin by their boast of the 
logical perfection of their doctrine ; they deceive their hearers by 
emptying terms of their meaning, though the Names remain to 
bear witness to the truth. . . . 

'5. Their treason involves us in the difficult and dangerous 
position of having to make a definite pronouncement, beyond the 
statements of Scripture, \ipon this grave and abstruse matter. 
The Lord said that the nations were to be baptized in the Name of 
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Hobj Ghost. The words of 
the faith are clear ; the heretics do their utmost to involve the 
meaning in doubt. "NVe may not on this account add to 
the appointed form, yet we must set a limit to their license of 
interpretation. Since their mahce, inspired by the devil's cruel 
cunning, empties the doctrine of its meaning while it retains the 
Names which convey the truth, we must emphasise the truth 
which these Names convey. We must proclaim, exactly as we shall 
find them in the words of Scripture, the majesty and functions of 
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and so debar the heretics fron^ 



EARLY HISTORY OF DOCTRINE OF TRINITY 67 

robbing those Names of their connotation of Divine character, and 
compel them, by means of these very Names, to confine their use 
of terms to their proper meaning. I cannot conceive what 
manner of mind our opponents have, who pervert the truth, 
darken the light, divide the indivisible, rend the scatheless, 
dissolve the perfect unity. It may seem to them a light thing to 
tear up Perfection, to make laws for Omnipotence, to limit 
Infinity ; as for me, the task of answering them fills me with 
anxiety ; my brain whirls, my intellect is stunned, my very 
words must be a confession, not that I am weak of utterance, but 
that I am dumb. Yet a wish to undertake the task forces itself 
upon me ; it means withstanding the proud, guiding the wanderer, 
warning the ignorant. But the subject is inexhaustible ; I can 
see no limit to my venture of speaking concerning God in terms 
more precise than He Himself has used. He has assigned the 
Names — Father, Son, and Holy Ghost — which are our informa- 
tion of the Divine Nature. "Words cannot express, or feeling 
embrace or reason apprehend, the results of enquiry carried 
further; all is ineflfable, unattainable, incomprehensible. Lan- 
guage is exhausted by the magnitude of the theme, the splendour 
of its effulgence blinds the gazing eye, the intellect cannot com- 
pass its boundless extent. Still, under the necessity that is laid 
upon us, with a prayer for pardon to Him "Whose attributes these 
are, we will venture, enquire, and speak; and moreover— it is the 
only promise that in so grave a matter we dare to make — we will 
accept whatever conclusion He shall indicate.' ^ 

it would be easy to multiply quotations but these must 
suffice. The writings of S. Hilary have been sadly 
neglected, mainly because he wrote in a difficult Latin 
style, but the excellent translation published by Canon 
Watson and Mr. Pullan removes this hindrance. Let 
us note that not less than S. Athanasius and S. Augustine, 
S. Hilary bears witness to the fact that Church teachers 
of the Creed-making epoch did not claim a greater know- 
ledge of God than S. Paul and S. John, because they 
used technical terms in which to formulate their know- 
ledge. Advance in methods of analysis led naturally to 
wider modes of expression. 

S. Hilary's teaching is so important because, in the 
first place, it had immense influence on the mind of 
S. Augustine, and also on Pope Leo. With the advent 
of barbarism it sank into oblivion, though we still find 
liim quoted by Cyprian of Toulon at the beginning of th§ 
I p^ Trin, ii. 4, 5, 



58 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

fifth century. It was practically only through Augustine 
that he influenced the Middle Ages. Secondly, S. Hilary 
puts into our hands the key to the problem from the 
philosophical point of view. If the Unitarian tries to 
think out his intellectual position he finds it difllicult to 
think of God as a lonely being with no object for His 
love or interest. In Dean Strong's words : * How can 
this lonely solitary Being while away the endless years 
till the creation dawns upon it.'' The whole theory 
becomes repulsive, and the warmth of life which 
Pantheism brings becomes attractive. For Pantheism 
never leaves God alone. The world is always there, 
always expressing the will of the Spirit, from whose will 
it springs, or rather, whose will it perpetually represents. 
In one case, and as far as we know, one only, space is 
made to play the part of the object of the Divine activity. 
This is in Dr. Martineau's Study of Religion, Bk. ii. ch. i. 
We do not propose to discuss it at length, because we 
do not think that the theory as it stands is likely to be 
popular. We only mention it to illustrate the straits 
to which pure Theism is driven in its endeavour to avoid 
Pantheism and Deism alike.' ^ 

S. Augustine 

No one can properly understand S. Augustine's book 
On the Trinity who has not carefully studied his 
Confessions. His speculations were not mere essays in 
phrase-making, they were the outcome of acute mental 
distress. Who can listen unmoved to the cry, ^Thou 
hast made us for Thyself and our heart is restless until 
it find rest in Thee'.'* Therefore his Confessions has 
been truly called an epoch-making book. Its sincerity 
is transparent. We need not for a moment hesitate to 
trust the honesty of the intellectual conclusions to which 
the writer was so wonderfully led. Disappointment was 
his teacher. Unsatisfied by fleshly self-indulgence he 
tried Manicheism, but it could not explain the facts of his 
experience. Conscience, Intellect, Emotion, all rebelled 
a^inst both teaching and teachers. Then he tried 
I ^farnuU of Theology^ p. 195, 



EARLY HISTORY OF DOCTRINE OF TRINITY 59 

Platoiiism, probably through a Latiu translation of the 
Enneads of Plotinus made by Victorinus Afer, whose 
conversion had a great influence on him, and who taught 
him subsequently to think of the Holy Spirit as the 
bond of love between the Father and the Son. 

From Plotinus Augustine learnt to think of God as a 
Spirit, immaterial, eternal, and unchangeable, as the 
Soul of souls and Life of lives. 'Yet further the 
Platonist taught him that this supreme Unity is one, as 
the human spirit is one, or even as the human body is 
one, not with the logical unity of absolute sameness, but 
with the real organic unity of life, with a unity which 
admits of differences, and of personal differences. Three 
such personal differences Plotinus admitted in the unity 
of the Divine— the Good, the Intelligence, and the Soul. 
The eternal Intelligence he called the Creator. All 
things exist by virtue of the divine thought or " word " ; 
they are in so far as they answer to the divine purpose. 
How closely this teaching corresponds to the opening of 
St. John's Gospel Augustine himself points out (vii. 9) '. 
It is a great philosophy, and Augustine became an adept 
in it in the ecstasy in which (as he says), with the flash 
of one trembling glance, he arrived at that which is 
(vii. 17). But it did not satisfy him, because to the 
Platonist the truly divine, the truly personal, is the 
intellect alone. * God is the great Geometer, eternally 
blessed in the contemplation of unclouded truth, but 
not the Father who loves or grieves over His children, 
not the Shepherd who calleth His own sheep by name.' 
Such a Deity may satisfy those calm impersonal spirits 
whose lives are shielded from moral evil. Augustine 
wanted * not knowledge but deliverance.' ^ 

The Platonist held that moral evil could be got rid of 
by moral discipline. It did not affect the personality ; 
it was like weeds and shells clinging to a statue that has 
lain for long at the bottom of the sea. Cleanse off the 
rubbish and the statue is as beautiful as ever. But 
Augustine knew that sin is not merely ignorance, that 
emotion and will are also involved, for a perverted will 

1 Dr. Bigg's The Confessions of Saint Augustine, p. il, 
W^tUneu, 1903, 



60 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

taints emotion. He found deliverance in Christ. Like 
Pascal, he reached his conclusion by throwing his heart 
into the scales. He felt the attraction of the life of 
Christ, and the love of Christ in the characters of men 
like S. Ambrose. He longed to follow. At tiie supreme 
moment the voice of a little child bade him 'Take up 
and read.' He read and obeyed, he put on the Lord Jesus 
Christ (Rom. 13^^), and found in Him the key to all the 
problems of thought and life. 

As Dr. Bigg shows, he had faced all the difficulties 
besetting the theory of knowledge. ' He says quite 
frankly that religious belief is not capable of proof, or 
not to all men.* His faith was built on the evidence of 
his own personality. ' He saw law and order in the 
world, and he took for granted that they flowed from a 
personality like his own.'^ He was led from reflection on 
his own personality to a deeper insight into the mystery 
of Divine Personality. He was a ready pupil in the 
school of S. Hilary, who directed his thoughts away 
from the metaphysical arguments of Greek teachers to 
psychology. 

S. Athanasius had no word for 'Person.' He could only 
say 'Another, and another, and another.' His followers 
are constrained to distinguish hypostasis (vnoaTaais) from 
ousia (ovaia), and speak of three subsistences in one 
essence, that is to say of a Trinity of eternal distinctions. 

It is important to remember that Eastern theologians 
approached the problem from the point of view of the 
(Economic Trinity, the Trinity of Divine Workers in 
Creation and Redemption. On the other hand Augustine, 
inspired by Hilary, led Western theologians to contem- 

Idate the Immanent Trinity, the Trinity of eternal re- 
ationships. The Greeks began with the Trinity and 
reconciled it as best they could with the Unity. 
' Augustine affirmed that CJod is rigorously One, and 
took the consequences of his assertion. His difficulty 
is to avoid modalism, and explain the real plurality of 
the persons.' 2 Modalism is the theory that God is 
revealed under changing aspects as One Person who 

1 Op. cit. p, 25. 

* ^^eront, Histoire des Dopmes, ii. p. 365, 



EARLY HISTORY OP DOCtRINE OF TRINITY 61 

appears now as Father, now as Son, now as Holy Ghost. 
Augustine, in reply, worked out a theory of Relationships. 

' It is possible to predicate of Grod " according to substance — 
that is in respect to Himself (as good, great), or relatively — that 
is iu respect to something not Himself (as Father in respect to 
the Son and Lord in respect to the Creature). Whatever is 
spoken of God " according to substance " is spoken of each person 
steverally and together of the Trinity itself, which is rightly 
described as one essence, three hypostases or persons, though the 
term persons is only used for want of a better way of expressing 
the facts. " For indeed since the Father is not the Son, and the 
Son is not the Father, and the Holy Spirit, who is also called 
the Gift of God, is neither Father nor Son, they are certainly 
three." And so it is said in the plural, " I and my Father are 
one," for He did not say *'is one," as the Sabellians say, but 
"are one." Yet when it is asked what the three are, human 
utterance is weighed down by deep poverty of speech. All the 
same, we say three "persons," not that we wish to say it, but 
that we may not be reduced to silence.' i 

* The persons are not the Trinity, but the Trinity can be ca" ed 
also [the] Holy Spirit, because all three are God and Spirit and 
Holy. He is the Gift of both the Father and the Son, the com- 
munion of them both, called specially what they are called in 
common. This communion or unity or holiness which links each 
to the other is properly called love, for it is written "God is 
love." And herein may be seen how the Persons in the Deity 
are three and not more than three : One who loves Him who 
is from Himself, and One who loves Him from whom He is, 
and Love itself. And in this Trinity is the supreme source of 
all things, and the most perfect beauty and the most blessed 
delight.' 2 

Augustine delighted to analyse his own triune person- 
ality and illustrate it with psychological images. 'I 
exist and I am conscious that I exist, and I love the 
existence and the consciousness, and all this indepen- 
dently of any external influence.' Thus he carried on a 
step further S. Hilary's argument from Divine self- 
consciousness and applied it to the doctrine of the Holy 
Spirit. He drew from Victorinus the thought of the 
Holy Spirit as the bond of union, the co-eternal Love 
which unites the Father and the Son, and made it current 
coin, illustrating it in a variety of ways, and vindicating 

1 De Trin. v. 10. 
« Ibid. vii. 24. 



62 THE ATHANASIAN CllEfiD 

it as a true expression alike of present ('hristian experi- 
ence and primitive Christian faith. ' Thus he rises,' 
writes lllingworth, ' to the thought of God, whose 
Triunity has nothing potential or unrealised about it; 
whose triune elements are eternally actualised, by 
no outward influence but from within, a Trinity in 
Unity/ 1 

This is the proper end of our enquiry if we may assign 
the Quicumque to the first half of the fifth century, when 
the new spirit, which S. Augustine brought into theo- 
logical speculation, was still fresh and vigorous. With 
this understanding we can explain the genesis of the 
Quicumque in that period so far as its Trinitarian teaching 
is concerned. Even more important is the consideration 
that we are justified if we interpret this teaching in the 
light of the Coyifeftsions of S. Augustine as a theology in 
touch with the problems and difficulties of life. In 
the sixth century theology became more scholastic, a 
collection of statements supported by great names. As 
in a picture gallery we prefer to have an artist as our 
guide rather than a custodian who can only repeat the 
catalogue, so we feel that the teaching of our creed 
needs interpretation by the voice of a leader in the de- 
velopment of our A\'^estern theology rather than a mere 
student, who in the sixth century had but a small library 
to help him and no really great teacher. The name of 
Caesarius of Aries must be excepted, because in the 
settlement of the Pelagian Controversy he showed 
himself a theologian of no mean ability. From this 
point of view he is a possible author of the Quicumque, 
and his claim should be duly considered. But as a 
theologian he is dependent on the teaching of his pre- 
decessors, and with him the early history of the doctrine 
of the Holy Trinity is ended. 

1 Personality, Human and Divine, p. 74. 



CHAPTER V 



THE DOCTRINE OF THE INCARNATION IN THE 
FIFTH CENTURY 

* The Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ ' is an 
abstract way of expressing the fundamental belief of 
Christians in all ages. It is an expansion of the primi- 
tive Creed, 'Jesus is the Lord/ just as the Prologue to 
S. John's Gospel is an expansion of the confession of 
faith with which S. Peter responded to the Lord's search- 
ing question, But who say ye that 1 am? Thou art the 
Christ. (Mark 827.) 

When questions had been asked. By what authority 
did He claim to rule over the consciences of men, 
and the Gospel had been not only written, but deeply 
studied, the conviction shaped itself more and more 
clearly in the common mind of the Church that the 
only explanation of the great mystery of godliness was 
that expressed in the Apostolic words, ' God was mani- 
fest in the flesh, justified in the spirit.' Flesh and blood 
may well shrink from the venture of faith to which we 
are led. But having made it we find ourselves in a land 
of uprightness, a higher region of spiritual experience, 
in which fine air invigorates us as we climb towards the 
likeness of Christ. If it were not so, the Church could 
not have survived the wounds which the teaching of 
faithless members has inflicted age after age. If it were 
not so, we could not ourselves endure to see our poor 
endeavour matched with our Lord's endurance and self 
sacrifice. 

' O loving wisdom of our God ! 

When all was sin and shame, 
A second Adam to the fight 

And to the rescue came.' 

63 



64 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

The Word of God, who from the beginning was with 
God, 'of the substance of the Father/ sharing that is in 
all the attributes of the Godhead, uncreate, infinite, 
eternal, almighty, laid aside His glory and humbled 
Himself in taking our manhood upon Him, of the sub- 
stance of His Mother, flesh of her flesh, fashioned by the 
power of the Holy Ghost, and uniting to it a reasoning 
mind, so that He grew with a truly human growth in 
wisdom as He grew in stature. ' The right faith is that 
we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ the 
Son of God is equally God and Man.' Because He is 
God He is merciful. He knoweth whereof we are made. 
He rememhereth that we are hut dust (Ps. 103^*). Because 
He is Man He is exacting. He demands an allegiance 
which shall transcend all other calls of duty, shall trans- 
figure all other relationships, so that the man or woman 
called to set His love above the love of any other, shall 
find in Him the love sacrificed raised as it were from 
the dead. 

The strength of this argument is not impaired by any 
conclusion that recent Higher Criticism has succeeded in 
establishing, or is likely te establish. It can be based, if 
necessary, solely on the record of S. Mark's Gospel. 
But it is obvious that it can be supported with great 
advantage by quotations from S. Luke's Gospel, the 
authenticity of which may be regarded as beyond dis- 
pute. And, apart from the question of authorship, it 
brings welcome testimony to the theological value of the 
portraiture depicted in S. John's Gospel. Much of the 
recent discussion on the subject, ' Jesus or Christ,' seems, 
to one who has based his belief on this simple and stead- 
fast foundation, beside the point. And, after all, argu- 
ment is superficial which does not lead to the great 
venture of faith. Many faithful hearts feel that the 
mystery of the holy Incarnation is a subject for medita- 
tion rather than discussion. They are distressed by the 
use of technical terms, such as ' substance' and 'subsist- 
ing,' and the great daring of assertions such as ' inferior 
to the Father as touching His Manhood.' Let them 
remember the long experience of the Church in this 
matter. Our theology is the analysis of our experience, 



THE DOCTRINE OF THE INCARNATION 65 

and there is no doubt that, while experience worketh 
patience, for there is need to go over the ground again 
and again, patience thus exercised worketh hope, hope 
that the faith, so often verified by experience, maketh 
not ashamed of the doctrines eventually formulated by 
the Church, not ashamed of the technical terms used to 
guard against the return of ancient errors. 

But it would be a mistake to assume that the term 
' substance' was only of service in Anti-Arian polemics. 
It would be easy and, if space permitted, profitable to 
quote passages from many early writers who had begun to 
develop this line of teaching before the rise of Arianism. 
I must be content with a few. 



Tertullian 

Thus, in working out his doctrine of the Person of 
Christ, Tertullian, the great Apologist of the African 
Church, uses the expression ' two substances,' meaning 
that the one person Jesus Christ possesses both Godhead 
and Manhood. I will quote Mr. Bethune Baker's 
admirable summary : Mt is in describing the nature of 
the relation between the Son and the Father that he most 
loses sight of the legal sense of the term ' substance,' * 
and employs it to express a particular form of exist- 
ence ; which is, however, still regarded as concrete. 
' The Son I derive from no other source but from the 
substance of the Father,' ^ where the substance of the 
Father is only an exegetical periphrasis for the Father 
Himself— His own being : so that he can u»e the single 
word, 'we say that the Son is produced (projected) 
from the Father, but not separated from Him.'^ He 
who is emitted from the substance of the Father must of 
course be of that substance,* and there is no separation 
between the two. The Word is ' always in the Father . . . 
and always with God . . . and never separated from the 
Father or difl'erent from the Father.' He speaks, it is 

1 For some hint of the difficulties caused by this legal sense, 
863 p. 48, sujyra. 

2 Adv. Prax. 4. « Ibid. 8. 4 jud. 7. 



66 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

true, of the Father as being ' the whole substance,' 
while the Son is ' a derivation from, and portion of the 
whole/ and so 'made less' than the Father;^ but his only 
purpose is to mark the distinction between them as real, 
and not as involving diversity between them or division 
of the one substance. The relation between them may 
be illustrated by human analogies. The root produces 
(emits) the shrub, the spring the stream, and the sun the 
ray. The former is in each case, as it were, the parent, 
and the hitter the offspring : they are two things, but 
they are inseparably connected. The being of both is 
one and the same. That which proceeds, moreover, is 
second to that from which it proceeds, and when you say 
* second,' you say that there are two. It is in order to 
mark clearly the distinct personality of the Son that he 
calls him ^second.' There is no suggestion or thoiight 
of subordination, in any other sense than in regard 
to origin, and even that is merged in the unity of 
substance. '2 

Tertullian discusses further the relation between the 
spirit and the flesh in the constitution of the person of 
Jesus Christ. There was no transformation because 
God is unchangeable, there was no kind of mixture, 
because in Him both Godhead and Manhood retained 
their own characteristics. ' We see,* he says, ' the 
double status, the two not confused but conjoined in one 
person, God and man (Jesus) . . .* This is Christ. 
' And the peculiar properties of each substance are 
preserved intact, so that in Him the spirit conducted its 
own affairs, that is the deeds of power and works and 
signs, . . . and the flesh underwent its sufferings, 
hungering in the instance of the Devil (the Temptation), 
thirsting in the instance of the Samaritan woman, weep- 
ing for Lazarus, sorrowful unto death ; and finally it 
died.' As man He died, as Son of God He was immortal. 
'It is not in respect of the Divine substance, but in 
respect of the human that we say He died.' ^ 

1 Adv. Prax. 11. 

2 Introduction to Christian Doctrine, p. 141. 
* Ibid. 29, quof e4 by Bethune Baker, p. 144. 



THE DOCTRINE OF THE INCARNATION 67 

It is wonderful how Tertullian anticipated later 
developments of doctrine, how consonant his teaching is 
with that of the Quicumque. Surely it is these deep 
underlying correspondences which give us confidence, 
when we compare the thought of one age with another, 
to assert our belief that Truth is one, and that we are 
not adding to it when we draw out new meanings from 
the depths of unfathomable mystery which the Incarna- 
tion, believed in as a fact, involves. 

Origen and S. Athanaaius. 

Passing on to Origen, we find that that great con- 
structive thinker had large views on the fitness of the 
Incarnation and the importance of the recognition of the 
human soul through which the Divine Word was united 
with the man Christ Jesus. He was the first to use the 
term God-Man, and used the metaphor of iron glowing 
with fiery heat in which the fire and the metal are one, 
and yet the iron is not changed into anything else. ^ 
Thus the manhood by its union with the Godhead is 
glorified but does not cease to be manhood. 

As the Bishop of Exeter has well said, ' To Origen, 
with all his Platonism, belongs the honour of enthroning 
the God of Love at the head and centre of a systematic 
theology. Yet the theology of the third century assimi- 
lated secondary results of Origen's system rather than 
his underlying idea. On the one hand was the rule of 
faith with the whole round of Christian life and worship, 
determining the religious instinct of the Church ; on 
the other, the inability to formulate this instinct in a 
coherent system so long as the central problem was 
overlooked or inadequately dealt with.'^ 

Arianism attempted to solve the problem and failed. 
But when we come to the period of Arian controversy 
we find in operation what we may venture to call God's 
love of compensation. For all the mischief that is done 
by unbalanced argument, incautious and proud specula- 
tion, vehement insistence on bare logic, which is never 

^ Bethune Baker, op. cit. p. 150. 

2 A. Robertson, Athanasius, p. xxix. . 



68 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

a safe prop either of the mind or tiie heart, there is 
compensation through the heightened earnestness of 
those who are loyal to the faith of the Gospel, who on 
wings of faith and prayer rise to the height of some 
great argument, in which justice is done to both sides of 
a truth which cannot be confined within a syllogism. 
We may compare the quiet pondering on great mysteries, 
which is the characteristic beauty of the first treatise of 
S. Athanasius, with the quiet reflections of the grey- 
haired saint at the end of the long strife. The years of 
storm and stress have left their mark. He has been 
constrained to speak and write vehemently in the heat 
of his spirit, but as the day draws near when no man can 
work, a great peace settles down upon his soul. He 
knows in whom he has believed. Indeed, it is ^the 
Spirit of Jesus' that bids him hold out the olive branch 
of conciliation to the Semi-Arians, men like Cyril of 
Jerusalem, who have been timid about acceptance of 
technical terms such as ' substance,' while they were 
loyal to the truth. He counsels men ' not to fight about 
words to no useful purpose . . . but to argue in i\Q 
spirit of piety.' At the same time, in view of new 
questions, he is careful to teach that the human nature 
of Christ is complete, not Body only, without a soul, 
nor without sense or intelligence.^ So that we find 
S. Athanasius teaching in substance the whole doctrine 
of the two Natures as developed in the Qnicumque. 

In like manner S. Hilary of Poitiers writes of our 
lord's words about confessing Him before men : — 

* So said the "Word made flesh ; so taught the M&n Jesus 
Christ, the Lord of majesty, constituted Mediator in His own 
person for the salvation of the Church, and being in that very 
mystery of mediatorship between men and God, Himself one 
Person, both Man and God. For He, being of two natures 
united for that mediatorship, is the full reality of each nature ; 
while abiding in each, he is wanting in neither ; He does not 
cease to be God because He becomes Man, nor fail to be Man 
because He remains for ever God.' 2 

'The use of the one word "form" to describe both natures 

1 Letter to the Church of Antioch in 362 a,d. 

2 De Trin. ix. 3. 



THE DOCTRINE OF THE INCARNATION 69 

compels us to recognise that He truly possessed both. He is in 
the form of a servant, Who is also in the form of God. And 
though He is the latter by His eternal nature, and the former in 
accordance with the Divine plan of grace, the word has its true 
significance equally in both cases, because He is both : as truly in 
the form of God as in the form of Man. Juat as to take the 
form of a servant is none other than to be born a man, so to be 
in the form of God is none other than to be God : and we confess 
Him as one and the same Person, not by loss of the Godhead, 
but by assumption of the manhood.' ^ 

S. Augustine also found great scope for his powers of 
illustration and analysis. I will quote from his works 
some parallels with the Quicumque : — 

CI. 31. Thus having- taught that Christ Jesus the Son 

of God is both God and Man, he continues : ' God 

before all ages ; Man in our age — one Son of God 

and the same Son of Man.'^ 
CI. 83. ' Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, 

but less than the Father as touching His flesh, 

that is, as touching His manhood {hominem).' ^ 
CI. 34. ' Let us recognise the twin substance of Christ 

the Divine, forsooth, in which He is equal to 

the Father, the Human in which the Father is 

greater : but in either case He is not two at once 

but is one Christ.'* 
CI. 35. * The Word was made flesh, flesh having been 

taken up by the Godhead, not by the Godhead 

having been changed into flesh." ^ 
CI. 36. * The same is God who is Man, and the same 

is Man who is God, not by confusion of nature, 

but by unity of person.' ^ 
CI. 37. 'For as reasoning soul and flesh is one man 

so God and Man is one Christ.' " 

These typical quotations from S. Augustine prove that 
he came very near to the teaching of the Quicumque 
in his analysis of 'perfect Manhood.' He brought men 
to the edge of the position taken up in the Creed, but did 

1 De Trin. x. 22. 2 Enchiridion, c. 35. 

' Ep. 137. * In Johan. Tract. 78, § 3. 

* Enchiridion, c. 34. <• Serm. 186. 
^ In Johan. Tract. 78, § 3. 



70 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

not overlap it, so that any one can plausibly arg-tie that 
he knew it, or had written it. 

We pass in the fifth century from the Nicene age to 
the Chalcedonian, that is, to an age which found its 
highwater mark of theological expression in the famous 
Definition of the Council of Chalcedon, which represents 
the final word of the Universal Church on the four great 
heresies — Arianism, Apollinarianism, Nestorianism, and 
Eutychianism. They have been admirably summarised 
in the following paragraphs of Bishop Gore's Hampton 
Lectures : — 

' The first division, as against Arius, assigned to Christ as Son 
of God the epithet OfiooOaios, 'of one substance with the Father.' 
Arius' conception of Christ, whatever the intellectual motives 
which produced it, assigned to Him in efifect the position of a 
demi-god. Current non-Christian beliefs, poj)ular and philo- 
sophical, had made men familiar with the notion of intermediate 
beings, the objects of religious worship, who represented on a 
lower plane something greater and more eternal behind them- 
selves. In particular, philosophical paganism had given currencj- 
to the notion of a mediating Mind, which stood halfway between 
the material world and the absolute and unknowable God. On 
this model Arius moulded his conception of Christ: a Christ 
whom men were to worship and treat as God, while all the time 
He only represented God, and was not God, but was in fact a 
creature, though the supreme creature, and if older than all 
others, yet not eternal nor really belonging to the being of God. 
Observe then that in repudiating this conception of Christ, and 
in declaring it to be un-Christian, the Church was not only for her 
Lord's honour vindicating His real Godhead, was not only, as she 
believed, defending Scripture and tradition, but was also reassert- 
ing the first principle of theism as distinct from pairtheism and 
idolatry. . . . 

'That Christ was very God of very God, fixed itself in the 
mind of an able and interesting man, Apollinarius of Laodicea. 
As being God, Christ, he went on to argue, must be morally un- 
alterable ; yet He is in some sort human, and the human mind and 
will is alterable, liable to sin— nay, he seems to have thought, 
necessarily sinful. How then can Jesus be human? To solve 
this problem, Apollinarius endeavoured to develop a systematic 
theory of the person of Christ on the basis of a more or less 
philosophical psychology. He drew a distinction between the 
body, the soul or animal life, and the reason or spirit, in man's 
nature — a distinction to some extent sanctioned by 3. Paul; 
and he conceived that in Christ the eternal and immutable 
mind or spirit, the "Word of God, took the place of the human 



THE DOCTRINE OF THE INCARNATION 71 

mind, and united itself to the soul and body that is the 
animated body, so that Christ was made up of the Godhead, 
manifesting Himself in the living body of man. That Christ 
was, as thus conceived, if like man, yet not really man, because 
without that human mind or spirit, in virtue of which alone the 
body in man becomes human and not merely animal, — Apollin- 
arius frankly recognised. Yet he seems to have suggested, that 
the archetype of manhood exists in God, who made man after His 
own image, so that man's nature in some sense pre-existed in God. 
The Son of God was eternally human, and he could fill the place 
of the human mind in Christ without His thereby ceasing to be 
in some sense human. Such refinements, when their point was 
plain, the Church again met with a very emphatic negative : if 
man is made in God's image, yet man is not God, nor God man. 
It is, again, a first principle of theism, as distinct from pantheism, 
that manhood at the bottom is not the same thing as Godhead. 
This is a principle intimately bound up with man's moral responsi- 
bility and the reality of sin. Thus the interests of theism were 
at stake in this controversy no less really, though less obviously, 
than the reality of Christ's human sympathies. At any rate, the 
Church could not have Christ's real humanity explained away. 
He had a really human will, human mind, human reflectiveness, 
human sympathies : He was completely man in all human 
faculties, to be tempted, to pray, to suffer, to learn, as truly as 
He was very God. That was the second determination — reasserted 
in the sixth century against the Monothelites, in connection with 
the truth of Christ s human will. 

But if Christ was God and man, how was the union to be con- 
ceived of the Godhead and manhood ? The manhood — so insisted 
a school of theologians from Antioch — if it be truly manhood, 
must have free will and self-determination. Christ then must be 
really a free human Person, how then is He God ? Because, they 
replied, God unites Himself to man ; to all men in proportion to 
their merit, to Christ in a unique and exceptional manner on 
account of His unique and exceptional merit. As this merit was 
foreseen, so the man Christ Jesus was from the first united in a 
special degree with God. But that which was born of Mary was 
not, properly speaking, God the Son : it was a human child Jesus 
who, when He had grown to manhood, became Son of God by 
adoption at His baptism, and at last was made one with God in 
glory. This was the theory which, as orig^inated or suggested by 
the famous commentator, Theodore of Mopsuestia, was adopted 
and popularised by Nestorius. But the Church saw clearly 
enough that it is not what the Bible teaches, or what our 
redemption requires. . . . The Nestorian theory, then, was met 
with a negative as emphatic as possible in the decree of 
Kphesus. . . . 

' Christ then is God incarnate. In Him the human nature is 
assumed by the Divine Person. But, in that case, can the human 



72 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

nature be said to remain ? No, persisted an abbot of Constanti- 
nople, named Eutyches ; distinct as manhood and Godhead are 
before the incarnation, by the incarnation the manhood loses its 
own proper and distinct nature. It is transubstantiated into that 
which assumed it : it is no longer of our substance. Once more, 
this position was met by the Church with an emphatic negative 
in the Council of Chalcedon. The humanity in Christ remains 
distinctively what it was: it is not transmuted out of its own 
proper character ; the eternal person assumes the human nature, 
and acts through it, without its ceasing to be human. Christ, 
who is of one substance with the Father in respect of His God- 
head, is of one substance with us in respect of our manhood, and 
that for ever. In Him the two natures, divine and human, 
subsist in the unity of the dne person.' ^ 

As students of the Quiciaiiquewe are concerned mainly 
with the Western point of view, which is summed up in 
the masterly Tome of Pope Leo. 

S. Leo contrasts the simple teaching of the Baptismal 
Creed of Rome, the archetype of our Apostles' Creed, 
with the new explanations by which heretical minds 
would impoverish or destroy the fulness or the balance 
of Church teaching. As the advent of Ananism made 
inevitable the process by which the ancient historic faith 
of Jerusalem was transformed into our Nicene Creed, so 
the advent of Apollinarianism and Nestorianism made 
necessary the insistence on the Unity of the Person of 
Christ, while at the same time the perfectness of His 
natures. Godhead and Manhood, was guarded, and all 
possibility of confusion, whether Apollinarian or 
Eutychian, was done away. 

Since heresies grow out of natural tendencies in the 
human mind common to every age, it is inevitable that 
they should recur. We have seen how the heresy 
of Leporius anticipated Nestorianism. And Nestorian 
error was reproduced in the eighth century by the 
Adoptionists, partly, it is true, under the influence of the 
older Nestorianism, but also becauie the pendulum had 
swung back, and a national reaction had set in towards 
that direction of thought. 

The very interesting researches of Mr. Bethune Baker 
prove that Nestorius himself has received but scant 

1 The Incarnation of the Son of Ood, p. 89 flF. [Murray, 1892. 



THE DOCTRINE OP THE INCARNATION 73 

justice, that his teaching was often misrepresented. We 
may grant as much as that, and yet with perfect fairness 
maintain that he taught that Jesus Christ was two 
distinct persons or agents, one of which might be called 
by the same name as the other. 

We are concerned, however, chiefly with the view that 
was taken of Nestorian error in such a centre of Gallican 
Church life as Lerins, a centre of culture where intel- 
lectual interest was felt in the precise terms in which 
Nestorianism might be condemned. 

It would be hard to find other such centres in Gaul 
before 450, and impossible at a later time. The fifth 
century witnessed the irruption into Gaul of the Goths 
and Huns. Caesarius of Aries, though he carried on the 
Lerins tradition, had the heresy of Pelagius to contend 
with, so that Christology was somewhat left out of 
account. I do not mean that it was neglected, but the 
existing modes of expression sufficed, whereas on the 
subject of free will it was necessary to advance to the 
discovery of new formulae which in guarding the truth 
should guard it as a whole without neglecting any one 
aspect. 

The following passage from Leo's Letter to Flavian 
shows how far opposition to Nestorianism and Eutychian- 
ism had altered the situation which the theologians of the 
first decades of the fifth century had to face : — 

' Since, then, the properties of both natures and substances were 

E reserved and co-existed in One Person, humility was embraced 
y majesty, weakness by strength, mortality by eternity ; and to 
pay the debt of our condition, the inviolable nature was united to 
a passible nature ; so that, as was necessary for our healing, there 
was one and the same "Mediator between God and man, the Man 
Jesus Christ," who was capable of death in one nature and 
incapable of it in the other. In the complete and perfect nature, 
therefore, of very man, very God was born — complete in what 
belonged to Him, complete in what belonged to us.i 

' For the Self-same who is very God is also very Man ; and there 
is nothing false in this union, whilst the lowliness of the Man- 
hood and the loftiness of the Divinity have their separate 
spheres. For as the Godhead is not changed by the compassion, 
so the Manhood is not absorbed by the dignity.' 2 

1 a 3. 2 a 4. 



74 THE AtMANAStAN CREED 

'When, however, Eutyches, in response to your cross-examina- 
tion, said, "I confess that our Lord was from two natures before 
the Union, but after the Union I admit but one nature," I am 
amazed that so absurd and perverse a profession as this of his 
was not severely censured by the judges, i 

We may fairly argue, on the one hand, that the 
need of asserting the permanent distinction of tlie 
two natures, as against Eutyches, was not present to 
the mind of the author of the Quicumque. He has 
the ApoUinarian confusion of the natures in his mind. 
On the other hand, the Unity of Person is also as- 
serted to guard the integrity rather than the Unity of 
Christ's Person, again in opposition to ApoUinarian 
rather than Nestorian mistakes. To substitute the 
Divine Word for the Human Soul was a short cut to 
the glorification of the Divine Person, which the con- 
fession of that Human Soul might seem to imperil until 
it is clearly understood that He assumed an impersonal 
nature. The raising of Manhood from the dust, not the 
degradation of Godhead by any process of change, is the 
great truth which expresses the highest dignity of Man, 
the Gospel of his creation. As S. Hilary puts it: 'The 
assumption of our nature was no advancement for God, 
but his willingness to lower Himself is our promotion, 
for He did not resign His Divinity hut conferred 
Divinity on man.' ' 

Here we must leave the question, acknowledging 
humbly that any argument based on the internal evi- 
dence of the Quicumque has to run the gauntlet of 
renewed attack on the lines of Dom Morin's recent 
lectures, to which 1 have referred above. ^ I have 
endeavoured to quote enough from dated fifth century 
writings to prove that the Quicumque more closely 
corresponds to them than to later formulations of the 
faith. But I willingly admit there is much to be said 
on the other side, and we must wait for Dom Morin's 
edition of S. Caesarius before we can attain to a final 
decision. For practical purposes it does not matter. 
Our deep concern at the present day is to defend the 

1 a 6. ^ De Trin. ix. 4. » Page 34. 



THE DOCTRINE OF tHE iNCARNAtlON 75 

doctrine of the Incarnation taught in this Creed, what- 
ever its date. And it is of no small advantage to 
discover, as any earnest student may soon do for himself, 
how much alike the true believers of the centuries past 
are to those of the present day, and that a man of 
affairs like S. Hilary of Poitiers, could see through all 
the chief fallacies which hold men back from acceptance 
of the truth. 

* It is mauifest that there is nothing which men have ever said 
which is not liable to opposition. Where the will dissents the 
mind also dissents : under the bias of opposing judgment it joins 
battle, and denies the assertions to which it objects. Though 
every word we say be incontrovertible if gauged by the standard 
of truth, yet so long as men think or feel differently, the truth is 
alwr^f s exposed to the cavils of opponents, because they attack, 
under the delusion of error or prejudice, the truth they mis- 
understand or dislike. For decisions once formed cling with 
excessive obstinacy : and the passion of controversy cannot be 
driven from the course it has taken, when the will is not subject 
to the reason. Enquiry after truth gives way to the search for 
proofs of what we wish to believe ; desire is paramount over 
truth. Then the theories we concoct build themselves on names 
rather than things : the logic of truth gives place to the logic of 
prejudice : a logic which the will adjusts to defend its fancies, 
not one which stimulates the will through the understanding of 
truth by the reason. From these defects of partisan spirit arise 
all controversies between opposing theories. Then follows an 
obstinate battle between truth asserting itself and prejudice 
defending itself: truth maintains its ground and prejudice 
resists. But if desire had not forestalled reason : if the under- 
standing of the truth had moved us to desire what is true : 
instead of trying to set up our desires as doctrines, we should let 
our doctrines dictate our desires ; there would be no contradiction 
of the truth, for every one would begin by desiring what was 
true, not by defending the truth of that which he desired. ' ^ 



1 De Trin. x. 1. 



CHAPTER VI 

A SHORT COMftJENTARY 

To obtain a clear understaiidiiiij^ of the Quicurnque it is 
very necessary to read it paragraph by paragraph, and 
not clause by clause, as it is printed for use as a canticle. 
It is essentially an Instruction, with a prolonged argu- 
ment. We will divide it up as such, and endeavour to 
explain the sequence of thought and the more difficult 
phrases as we go along. 

Introduction 

1. Whosoever would "^ be saved. 

There has been much discussion on the translation of 
the word vult. It seems wise to keep the old English 
'would,' explained by the modern English *desireth.' 
This does not, however, deliver us from controversy 
as to whether salvus means ^ saved' or 'in a state 
of salvation.' From our modern point of view we wish 
it to mean the latter, and Bishop Gibson is quite 
right when he says that 'the word is ambiguous, and 
instances of either meaning may be found in Latin 
writers of the fourth and fifth centuries.'' But the 
reference in the next verse to the eternal issues of our 
belief or unbelief leave little doubt that 'future' and 
not * present salvation ' was in the author's mind. 

Before all things it is needful that he hold the Catholic 
Faith. 

There is no other Saviour, so from the Christian point 
of view it is all-important that we should know Christ 
and 'be found in him' (Phil. 3®). But the simple 

1 Or desireth. 2 Op. cit. p. 211. 

76 



A SHORT COMMENTARY 77 

Creed, 'Jesus is the Lord' (Rom. 10^) with which the 
Church beg'an, which Christians carried into all lands as 
a message of salvation, needed expansion when it became 
the Catholic ( = universal) Faith, apart from any question 
of misinterpretation. Belief in Christ implied new 
knowledge of the mystery of the Being- of God, that 
God is Love, that He is not a solitary Being, that in the 
highest heaven the Father and the Son and the Holy 
Ghost share the eternal life of love. 

The Church was slow to believe all that the Lord had 
spoken, but experience of the guidance of His Spirit led 
them on, as we have seen, to interpret their belief about 
(iod. S. Paul's letter to Timothy (1 Tim. 6 ^o) shows that 
he regarded it as a sacred deposit, a trust for others, to 
be guarded and handed on faithfully. Meditation about 
the relation of Christ to the Father and the Spirit led 
to the development of the Doctrine of the Trinity. 
Mistaken opinions on the Person of Christ led to more 
elaborate statements of the Doctrine of the Incarnation. 
The Quicumque is a summary of conclusions to which the 
Church was led along each of these lines of thought, and 
the Catholic Faith of the Church was enlarged. 

2. Which Faith except a man hath kept whole and un- 
defiled ^ without doubt he shall periah eternally. 

To keep the faith whole is to preserve what S. Paul calls 
its '^proportion.' In hearing sermons, in private conver- 
sation, and in private study of the Holy Scripture, we 
find many interesting lines of thought are opened out 
which may lead to profitable speculation on the Christian 
Revelation. But it must not become onesided. Thus in 
the fifth century Pelagius, who was sound on the subjects 
of the Holy Trinity and the Incarnation, as dealt with in 
the Quicumque, was led by unbalanced assertions on the 
power of Divine Grace to make equally unbalanced 
assertions about human free will. There was a certain 
affinity between his magnifying of the human '^will' 
and the Nestorian error which identified ' will ' with 
' personality,' teaching two Persons in Christ. This 
shows the necessity for clear thinking about the great 

1 Or uncorrupted. 



78 THE ATIIANASIAN CRKED 

truths mysteriously linked with the central doctrine of 
the Person of Christ. We may be thankful that the 
daily round of teaching in the Christian year brings 
them all in turn before our eyes, and makes it easier 
to do justice to both aspects in the final antithesis which 
appears to exist between Grace and Free Will. 

The alternative rendering, ' uncorrupted,' suggests a 
metaphor which is not so plainly in accord with the 
original use of the Latin word. Cicero speaks of friend- 
ship as preserved 'unhurt' (inviolata). 'J'his brings in 
perhaps a better metaphor than ' undefiled ' if we regard 
our faith, as did the early Christians, as our compact 
with Christ, to be loyally observed, and to be sealed and 
delivered with the added seal of our own experience : 
' He that hath received his witness hath set his seal to this 
that God is true ' (S. John 3^). 

Obviously the teaching of this clause is addressed to 
members of the Church only. A man cannot keep what 
he has never possessed. The warning is against dis- 
loyalty. All men agree that any sort of disloyalty must 
have a pernicious effect on character. From this point 
of view the assertion may be justified that lack of loyalty 
to the faith leads to the eternal perishing from which we 
pray to be delivered. We must take this clause with 
clause 28. If the gradual advance of the Creed into 
general use as an approved instruction be held to give it 
a certificate of acceptance as part of the deposit of Faith, 
yet no instructed theologian, either of the East or of 
the West, would condemn to eternal perdition the here- 
tics whose errors are exposed by this Creed without 
making some exceptions, e.g. for the case of invincible 
ignorance on the part of such heretics. 

This diflficulty has lain at the root of all attempts to 
explain the meaning of the words by explanatory notes. 
It is not simply a question of explaining that a person 
cannot hold what he has not received. It is assumed 
that the Creed is addressed only to believers, and we can 
only fall back on the argument of Dr. Mozley : ' It is an 
acknowledged principle in the interpretation of the 
damnatory language of Holy Scripture regarding un- 
belief, that it is to be understood with conditions, and 



A SHORT COMMENTARY 79 

the same rule of interpretation applies to the Athanasian 
Creed.' ^ 

I. i. (a) Divine Personality is Triune 

3. Now the Catholic Faith is this, that we worship the One 
God as a Trinity, and the Trinity as an Unity. 

The main statement given in this clause is one to 
which all can subscribe. The Catholic Faith is this — 
not that we define and dogmatise unduly, but that we 
worship one God revealed to us in a Trinity of Persons. 
True faith leads to worship. Tennyson's '1 cannot under- 
stand, I love ' is true of every soul which trusts in God 
and makes the venture of faith in Christ and in His Spirit. 
I believe, not with Tertullian ' because it is impossible,' 
but with Anselm 'in order that I may understand,' under- 
stand how love has guarded my steps, giving the gift 
of the Spirit of regeneration in Baptism, of strengthen- 
ing in Confirmation, the Spirit who has in the Blessed 
Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ continually 
sustained, strengthened, and refreshed the life given in 
Holy Baptism. In Keble's words, 'All the Godhead 
joins to make us whole.' All this I know by experience, 
having made my venture of faith. So I say to any 
Unitarian friend who cannot accept the Apostles' Creed 
in which all this is implied. If you are sincere I do not 
doubt that your invincible ignorance will be forgiven, 
but I regret more than words can say your loss in the 
present, which must be your loss in the future also, of 
all the comfort and strength which this faith brings. 
You take your stand on the Unity of the Godhead and so 
do I. This Creed is a protest against any sort of mis- 
taken belief that disparages it. We are forbidden by 
the Catholic Religion (clause 20) quite as sternly as by 
the Revelation given through Moses (Deut. 6^) to say 
there be three Gods. 

4, 5, 6. Neither confusing the Persons nor dividing the 
Substance. For there is a Person of the Father, another of 
the Son, another of the Holy Ghost ; but the Godhead of the 
Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost is one; their glory 
eqiial, their majesty co-eternal. 

1 Lectv/res and Theological Papers, p. 194. 



80 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

We are taught by the unanimous voice of Christian 
tradition to acknowledge eternal distinctions in the 
working of the Divine Persons which we are led to trace 
back to eternal distinctions in the Being of God. By 
' Being ' we do not mean ' Nature,' but we argue up from 
the analogy of human Personality to the Divine. In the 
being of each family three persons are conjoined, Father, 
Mother, and Child, showing the unity of a common nature 
but expressing it in action variously according to his or 
her will. This analogy is valuable though, like all other 
analogies, it is very incomplete. For in human life we 
measure strength of personality by separateness of will, 
whereas in God will and life are one. 

We condemn the Sabellian teaching that Father, Son, 
and Holy Ghost are but three names or aspects oif God 
confusing the persons, so that the Father could be said 
to suffer in the Son. As we have seen, that form was 
popularised in the fifth century by Priscillian, as in our 
own day by Swedenborg's disciples. It is by no means 
an extinct heresy. It is attractive, because it makes less 
demand for humility of mind. It is compatible with 
very sincere devotion to the Person of our Lord, and 
most energetic work in preaching His Gospel for the 
salvation of sinners. It breaks down in practice, because 
it is in essence an attempt to rationalise the mystery of 
the Being of God, which leaves the heart unsatisfied. 
There is no room left by it for real trust in the Father- 
hood of God, no confidence in the personal guidance of 
the Holy Ghost. 

Dimding the substance. Here we condemn Arian 
teaching in all its forms. The radical mistake of Arian 
theology, ' an irreligious solicitude about God,' as 
S. Hilary called it, the desire to spiritualise the idea of 
Deity undefiled by contact with the material world, 
found expression in metaphors from which the earlier 
Arians would have shrunk. Thus, in one of the old 
Commentaries on this Creed, we find the respective glories 
of the three Persons in Ihe Trinity compared to Gold, 
Silver, and Brass. This magnifying of the Father at the 
expense of the Son and the Spirit would be indeed a 
dividing of the one substance of the Godhead which 



A SHORT COMMENTARY 81 

justifies us in ascribing equal glory to each Divine 
Person. 

From the point of view of private devotion, it may not 
be out of place to suggest that the work of praise is much 
neglected, and that even a daily use of the Gloria would 
surely bring into many lives that element of joy in 
religion which is often so conspicuously lacking. It 
would tend also to restore that profound sense of the 
nearness of God in the daily working of His Providence 
that led such a saint as Bishop Ken to write 'Glory to 
God ' at the head of his letters, and thus bring his faith 
into relation to ordinary daily business which it can 
transfigure, till the humblest kitchen becomes the 
Presence Chamber of God Himself no less than the most 
impressive Cathedral. 

The thought of ' majesty ' helps out the thought of awe 
in the Presence thus revealed. There is an unwritten 
saying of our Lord recorded by Clement of Alexandria : 
'He that wonders shall reign and he that reigns shall 
rest.' We wonder not with the credulity of super- 
stitious ignorance, but with the wonder of the true 
Scientist, who feels more and more that this world is 
the home of mystery. 

(6) Attributes of the Godhead arranged in subsidiary 
Antitheses. 

7 Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the 

8 Holy Ghost ; the Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, 
the Holy Ghost uncreated ; the Father infinite, the Son 

10 infinite, the Holy Ghoftt infinite; the Father eternal, 

11 the Son eternal, the Holy Ghost eternal; and yet they 

12 are not three eternals but one eternal ; as also they are 
not three uncreated, nor three infinites, but one uncreated, 

13 and one infinite. So, likewise, the Father is almighty, 
the Sf^n almighty, the Holy Ghost almighty, and yet they 

14 are not three almighties, but one almighty. 

The main object of this section is to emphasise the 
fact that any attribute of the Godhead may be assigned 
to each of the three Persons. And these attributes 



82 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

are grouped in subsidiary antitheses, subsidiary I mean 
to the main antithesis 'Trinity in Unity.' 

The first of these ' uncreated ' is an attribute which is 
taught in the first verse of the Bible : 'In the beginning 
God created the heavens and the earth ' (Gen. 1 ^), and is 
emphasised throughout both the Old and the New Testa- 
ment. In view of Arian mistakes it was important to 
claim it for the Son and the Holy Ghost, to show in the 
words of the Nicene Creed, ' begotten not made/ that 
the Son is not a created Being. 

There is a passage in the treatise of Niceta of Reme- 
siana on the Holy Spirit, which shows plainly enough 
what practical importance lay in clear assertion of the 
same truth about the Holy Ghost. Niceta complains 
that the Macedonians were always trying to impale 
orthodox Christians on the horns of a dilemma by asking 
questions : ' Is the Spirit born or unborn .'* If He is 
not born like the Only-begotten Son, or unborn like the 
unbegotten Father, then He must be a created Being.' 
Niceta easily shows the futility of such arguments, and 
maintains that He is uncreated and Divine. 

We turn to the term ' infinite,' and note first that this 
is the best translation of the word immensus, literally 
unmeasured. It brings us to a most interesting train of 
thought, the necessity of reverence and awe in dealing 
with these heavenly mysteries. Men are so apt to forget 
that we have no celestial language in which to express 
eternal truths. It is the merit of the great teachers of 
the fourth and fifth centuries that they never forgot 
this in their criticism of unspiritual speculation in 
theology. Thus Niceta appeals : ' O man that dost not 
yet know thyself, dost thou dare to measure the Divine 
attributes ? ' ^ 

It is not at first obvious why the attribute * almighty ' 
is not joined with the others, but tacked on by * So like- 
wise.* The other attributes refer to the glory of God 
before the world was. ' Almighty ' has distinct reference 
to His work in Creation. It combines the ideas of 
'transcendence' and 'immanence.' If we press the 
former we are led to the impossible idea of ' a carpenter 
^ De rat. fidti 1. 



A SHORT COMMENTARY 83 

God/ fashionable in the eighteenth century, a God, that 
is, who made the world and left it, as a carpenter makes 
and leaves a table. If we press the latter, we find our- 
selves in danger of landing in the error of Pantheism, 
which confuses the Maker with His creation. Rightly 
explained, ^almighty' guards from both errors. 

(c) In which Christian Truth acknowledges 
the Trinity 

15 So the Father is God, the Son God, the Holy Ghost 

16 God; and yet they are not three Gods, but one God. 

17 So the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, the Holy Ghost 

18 Lord; and yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord. 

19 For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity^ 

20 to confess each of the Persons by Himself^ to be both 
God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic 
Religion to speak of three Gods or three Lords. 

There is no antithesis suggested between the Christian 
verity (or truth) and the Catholic Religion, but we may 
fairly explain the Verity as being the whole Revelation 
of God made to man through the Holy Scriptures, while 
we understand by Catholic Religion the whole system 
of teaching accepted by the Church Universal as a true 
summary of Hhe things most surely believed among us' 
(Luke 1 *). In the Church of England Catholic theology 
is based on the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, and 
the decrees of the great Councils. 

The term 'almighty' introduces us to the titles which 
men have in all ages given to the Divine architect and 
governor of the universe, 'God' and 'Lord.' He is 
' God ' in the eternal majesty of His Being, ' who d welleth 
in the light which no man can approach unto ' (1 Tim. 6 ^^). 
He is Lord because in many ways and words His will has 
been made known unto men and they obey. 

An interesting illustration has been drawn at this 
point from the philosophy of Lotze : ' Everything is 
three and one. A thing is what it is in itself and to 
itself, its "soul," or self, according to Lotze; it is also 

1 Or by Christian Truth. 2 Or severally. 



84 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

what it manifests of itself to other beings ; and it is what 
its influence is upon other things (or rather what its 
influence is within otlier things ; for action of things 
upon things is by their inner states). Here we have 
being as self, manifestation, and operation. The higher 
being advances, the more marked is this diff"erentiation ; 
and yet, from another point of view, the closer is the 
unity. There is no being without this unity of diff'er- 
ences, so far as we know. And it is a fair inference, that 
it belongs to being as such, and is most perfect in the 
One Being of all, who has given an impress of Himself to 
His works.' ^ 

I have a vivid recollection of a conversation with 
Bishop Westcott, in which he expressed his shrinking 
from the teaching of this phrase by Himself, which can 
easily be pressed too far. There is grave danger of a 
practical 'Iritheism in many minds, but not if they take 
heed to the warning here given, which shows that the 
author did not mean more than we are accustomed to say 
in our Catechism : ^ First, I learn to believe in God the 
Father. . . . Secondly, in God the Son. . . . Thirdly, 
in God the Holy Ghost' We distinguish in thought 
without wavering in faith. Our faith is in One God, one 
in life and will and work. Our Lord teaches ' The Father 
worketh hitherto and I work ' (John 5 ^"). 

There is a most interesting passage in Dean Robinson's 
lectures on the Creed,' which may be quoted here :— 

•Let us try, then, for a more positive description of what a 
person is. One who wills is a person ; one who knows is a 
person ; one who loves is a person. But if willing aiul knowing 
and loving are spoken of in connection with a person, we imply 
that there is something on which his will can act, something of 
which he can have knowledge, something which he can love. 
Thus we begin to feel that a person cannot be conceived of in 
isolation ; that for his personality to realise itself at all there 
must be something besides himself. 

' And yet further : will at its highest is manifested in its effect 
on another will ; knowledge at its highest is knowledge of 
persons ; love is scarcely more than a metaphor unless the object 

1 C.Q.R., 1910, p. 127. Article by Rev. R. Vaughan, 'How 
we may think of the Trinity.' 
« P. 39. 



A SHORT COMMENTARY 85 

of love is a person. This last point is the clearest from our own 
experience. You cannot love a bird, or a dog, quite as you can 
love a human being. Perhaps you cannot love it at all, except in 
so far as you attribute personality to it. But in any case it is not 
on your level of personality ; it is not adequate to receive and to 
return the whole gift of j'our love. 

'Now to us the idea of a Personal God includes at least those 
elements of personality which we know so well by our experience 
— will, wisdom, love. Consider in particular the last of these, so 
strongly emphasised by S. John that he declares twice over, not 
merely that God loves, but that ' ' God is love." In eternity, let us 
reverently ask. What does God love ? or rather since love at its 
highest loves a person, and a person adequate to receive and 
return the love, In eternity whom does God love ? Can we escape 
from saying, A Person eternal as Himself? for otherwise His 
love would not be eternal : a Person adequate to receive and 
return love at its highest : an eternal Person, therefore, not less 
than God, And here the Christian revelation meets us with the 
declaration that the Father loveth the Son, and the Son loveth 
the Father. "Love is not love," it was said long ago in this con- 
nection, "if there be no beloved." God is eternally Love : there 
is an eternal Beloved.' 

The Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity is in 
harmony with this idea of Personality as the capacity 
for fellowship. The fellowship of the Holy Ghost crowns 
our conception of the fellowship of the Father and the 
Son. We acknowledge that the whole truth is heyond 
our comprehension, yet we are confident that our dim 
vision of it from afar illuminates our minds as no other 
conception of God. It explains much that before was 
unexplained, and it offers the only possible foundation 
for a Gospel of social projjress. 

(ii) Divine Relationships in Scriptural Terms are 
unique, coetemal, coequal 

21 The Father is of none ; not madcj nor created, nor 

22 begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, not made, 

23 nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the 
Father and the Son ; not made, nor created, nor begotten, 

24 but proceeding. There is therefore one Father, not 
three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, 

25 not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is 
36 before or after, none is greater or less; but all tf^re^ 



86 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

Persons are coeternal one with another, and co- 
equal. 

27 So that in all ways, as is aforesaid, both the Trinity 
is to be worshipped as an Unity, and the Unity as a 

28 Trinity. Let him therefore that would be saved ^ think 
thus of the Trinity. 

We should shrink frorft any attempt to express such 
mysteries if we had not the support of Scriptural terms, 
so that we are not confined to mere negatives, such as 
unoriginate, uncreated, unbegotten. Our Lord's own 
words about the Father justify S. John's use and ours of 
the term 'only begotten.' ^ it is again from S. John's 
Gospel, though this time from the lips of the Master 
Himself, that we derive the term 'proceeding,' which, 
though it perhaps there (John 15 2«) refers only to the 
temporal mission of the Holy (ihost, is the term which 
adequately expresses His eternal relationship to the 
Father and the Son. 

'But if the question arise,' as it has been well put by 
Bishop Forbes, ' why the procession of the Son is termed 
generation, and that of the Holy Spirit not so, it may be 
answered, that there is a difference in the mode of their 
originations, as indicated to us. For generation is the 
origin of a living existence from a living principle, one 
with it in nature, and it requires that the origin of the 
begotten shall be from the begetter by an action which 
communicates similarity : but procession is generally 
any emanation of one person from another, and the 
exercise of the will is to love one's like, not to produce 
likeness ; it follows that the procession of the Word will 
be generation, but not that of the Spirit, who is love and 
from the will. But these things are mysteries beyond 
the ken of mortal man. ' ' 

' None is before or after.' — These express partially the 
difficult but important truth that we must separate from 
our thought of God's eternity all our thoughts of time. 
In Tennyson's words : — 

1 Or desireth to be saved. 2 John i. 14. 

* The Nicene Creed, p. 123, quoting S. Thos. Aquinas 1™* «7, 

e.4. 



A SHORT COMMENTARY 87 

' And all creation is one act at once, 
The birth of light : but we that are not all, 
As parts, can see but parts, now this, now that. 
And live, perforce, from thought to thought, and make 
One act a phantom of succession : thus 
Our weakness somehow shapes the shadow, Time.'^ 

There is a very interesting passage in which S. Hilary 
of Poitiers describes his conversion from heathenism, 
first to the faith of Judaism and then to Christianity. 
He came to the conclusion that ^omnipotence and 
eternity are the possession of One only, for omnipotence 
is incapable of degrees of strength or weakness, and 
eternity of priority or succession. In God we must 
worship absolute eternity and absolute power.' 

'While my mind was dwelling on these and on many like 
thoughts, I chanced upon the books which, according to the 
tradition of the Hebrew faith, were written by Moses and the 
prophets, and found in them words spoken by God the Creator 
testifying of Himself, "I am that I am," and again, He that is 
hath sent me unto you (Ex. 3^^). I confess that I was amazed to 
find in them an indication concerning God so exact that it 
expressed in the terms best adapted to human understanding an 
unattainable insight into the mystery of the Divine nature. For 
no property of God which the mind can grasp is more character- 
istic of Him than existence, since existence in the absolute sense 
cannot be predicated of that which shall come to an end, or of 
that which has had a beginning, and He who now joins con- 
tinuity of being with the possession of perfect felicity could not 
in the past, nor can in the future, be non-existent ; for whatsoever 
is Divine can neither be originated nor destroyed. Wherefore, 
since God's eternity is inseparable from Himself, it was worthy 
of Him to reveal this one thing, that He is as the assurance of 
His absolute eternity.' 2 

The coequality of the Divine Persons was a truth 
specially dear to Western theologians, who approached 
the subject from the point of view of the unity of God's 
Being in an Immanent Trinity. Their teaching was 
founded on our Lord's words : 'I and my Father are one' 
(John 10^^). Bishop Westcott's comment is : 'It seems 
clear that the unity here spoken of cannot fall short of 
unity of essence. The thought springs from the equality 
of power {my hand, the Father s hand) ; but infinite 
I The Prineesi, « Pe Trin, i. 0. 



88 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

power is an essential attribute of God ; and it is im- 
possible to believe that two being^s distinct in essence 
could be equal in power.' 

Eastern theologians started from the point of view of 
the (Economic Trinity, thinking of God revealing himself 
as Three iu the Divine work of creation and redemption. 
They thus easily found a place for ideas of a subordina- 
tion within the Godhead. They would lay stress on the 
thought of the one source or fountain of Deity. In 
Pearson's words : ' The Father has something of eminence, 
some kind of priority, because the Son has the Divine 
essence by communication and the Spirit also.' The 
Quicumque guards the main principle in the definite 
assertion that Hhe Father is of none,' but without drawing 
the conclusion that the Son and the Spirit are therefore 
subordinate, and when in clause 33 it returns to the 
question, it only speaks of the Son as Mess than the 
Father,' in respect of His self-humiliation in assuming 
Manhood. 

The words that follow about the worship of the 
Trinity as an Unity, express the practical outcome of our 
belief, which is ever the gateway to worship. Awe, not 
self-confidence, is the keynote of growth in knowledge 
of spiritual things. 'Let us fall low on our knees' is the 
prelude to our confession of faith, and the deepening awe, 
which is the prelude to increase of faith, brings its 
reward in the strengthening of character through increase 
in hope and love. 

The idiomatic, ' must thus think of the Trinity,' has 
disappeared from the new translation, but in sixteenth- 
century English did not express the stern insistence 
which it conveys to modern ears. 



II. The Incarnation 

29 Furthermore, it is necessary to eternal salvation that 
we also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord 

30 Jesus Christ. The right Faith therefore is that we believe 
and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God, 
is at once both God and Man. 



A SHORT COMMENTARY 89 

Under the influence of the Greek version,' Bishop 
Hilsey's ' believe faithfully ' became ' believe rightly ' 
{opB(i>^) in the Prayer Book of 1549. This was a ^reat 
pity, since the new translation obscured the emphasis 
laid on loyalty to faith received. The afl'ection of the 
heart is involved no less than the intelligence of the 
head. It may be argued that the change from S. Paul's 
address to his Philippian gaoler, ' Believe on the Lord Jesus 
Christ and thou shalt he saved ' (Acts 16 ^^), to the abstract 
idea of believing the Incarnation is an unwelcome change 
from the simplicity of the primitive Gospel. We can 
only answer that the Church is not to blame for the 
changes which became inevitable, when the questionings 
of false teachers led to erroneous denials of the Incarna- 
tion. Even in very early days S. Ignatius of Antioch 
was constrained to protest against the Docetic error 
which regarded our Lord's Body as a mere phantom. 
Thus it became necessary to guard the simple belief in 
His Person, as taught in the Baptismal Creed, by adding 
a statement as to His ' becoming flesh ' (John 1 '*). 

Christ in Two Natures 

31 He is God, of the Substance of the Father, begotten before 
the worlds, and He is Man of the Substance of His 

32 Mother, born in the world; perfect God, perfect Man, 
of reasoning soul and human flesh consisting ; equal to 

33 the Father as touching His Godhead, less than the 
Father as touching His Manhood. 

The word ' substance ' is the term employed to express 
the ' being ' of God, and later Latin theologians main- 
tained the distinction which -Tertullian defined between 
'substance' and 'the nature of substance.' They shrank 
(as Mr. Bethune Baker puts it) from speaking of the two 
natures merely.^ If they do not use the term ' substance,' 
they use some other term rather than ' nature.' Thus 
S. Hilary speaks ' of the form of God * and ' the form of 

1 See p. 102. 

2 Introduction to Early History of Christian J)octrine, p. ?3?, 
^etbuen, X903, 



90 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

a servant,' S. Augustine of ' the Son of God ' and ' the 
Son of Man.' Leo uses the term 'nature' freely, but 
adds 'and substance' to mark his full meaning. His 
words are worth quoting in full : — 

' Since then the properties of both natures and substances were 
preserved and coexisted in One Person, humility was embraced 
by majesty, weakness by strength, mortality by eternity ; and to 
pay the debt of our condition the inviolable nature was united 
to a passible nature ; so that, as was necessary for our healing, 
there was one and the same " Mediator between God and men, 
the Man Jesus Christ," who was capable of death in one nature 
and incapable of it in the other. In the complete and perfect 
nature, therefore, of very man, very God was bom — complete in 
what belonged to Him, complete in what belonged to us. And 
by " what belonged to us," we mean what the Creator put in us 
from the beginning, and what He undertook to repair. For that 
which the Deceiver brought upon us and that which deceived man 
admitted found no trace in the Saviour. And it does not follow 
that because He shared in human weakness He therefore shared 
in our sins. He assumed the "form of a servant" without the 
stain of sin, enhancing what was human, not detracting from what 
was Divine; because that "self-emptying," by which He who is 
invisible rendered Himself visible, and He who alone is the 
Creator and "Lord of all" willed to be mortal, was a conde- 
scension of pity, not a loss of power. Hence He who, remaining 
"in the form of God," made man, was the Same who was made 
man in the "form of a servant." For each nature retains 
without loss its own properties ; and as "the form of God" does 
not take away the "form of a servant," so the "form of a ser- 
vant" does not detract from the "form of God." ' ^ 

This eloquent summary needs no explanation. It 
expresses the mystery of the Divine Life portrayed in 
the Gospels. 

Before the worlds means before time began, and the 
ages by which this visible universe can be reckoned to 
exist. 

Perfect Manhood is said to consist of * reasoning soul 
and human flesh,' thereby asserting that Christ assumed 
the higher element in human nature, the mind, the spirit, 
the will. In the second century Christian thinkers were 
constrained to contend for the reality of the human flesh. 
Thus Ignatius writes: 'There is one Physician, fleshly 
^nd spiritual, begotten and unbegotten, God in man^ 
^ TcmeofS. Leo, c. 3, 



A SHORT COMMENTARY 91 

true life in death, both of man and of God, first passible 
and then impassible, Jesus Christ our Lord.' ^ 

Irenaeus, also speaking of the Lord's experiences of 
fatigue and grief and pain, says they were tokens of ' the 
flesh, assumed from earth, which He recapitulated in 
Himself, saving that which He Himself had formed.' 
But now the pendulum having swung back, it was the 
reality of the human soul which it was important to 
guard, including free will. *Thus Gregory of Nyssa 
declared that if the human soul of the Lord did not 
possess free will (the power of choice and self-determina- 
tion). His life could neither be a real example and a moral 
pattern for us, nor could it eflFect any gain for the human 
race. ' ^ 

Equal to the Father . . . less than the Father. I'hese 
words suggest an interpretation of our Lord's words 
(John 14 2**): The Father is greater than I, which is in 
harmony with the teaching of the absolute equality of the 
Divine Persons in verse 26. In Bishop Westcott's words, 
' the eminence of the Father lies in His relation to the Son 
as Incarnate and not yet glorified.' He goes on to show 
that this view is quite consistent with the view that the 
eminence of the Father lies in the fact that the Son has 
the divine Essence by communication. One view really 
implies the other. It is reasonable to 'ground the con- 
gruity of the mission ' of the Son upon the immanent 
pre-eminence of the Father. 

Irenaeus, discussing Mark 13 ^^, says : — 

' If any one inquire the reason wherefore the Father, communi- 
cating to the Son in all things, hath been declared by the Son to 
know alone the hour and the day, one could not find at present 
any [reason] more suitable or more becoming, or more free from 
danger, than this (for the Lord is the only true Master), [that it 
is] in order that we may learn through Him that the Father is 
over all things. For the Father, he says, is greater than I. And 
so the Father is announced by our Lord to have the pre-eminence 
in regard to knowledge, for this purpose, that we also . . . should 
leave perfect knowledge and such questions to God.' ^ 

1 Eph. 7. 

2 Antirrhet. 45, quoted by Bethune Baker, op. oit. p. 249, 



92 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

Here the reference is to the Incarnate Son in His 
Manhood. 
S. Basil iidopts the other interpretation : — 

' Since the Son's origin is from the Father, in this respect the 
Father is greater, as cause and origin. "Wherefore also the Lord 
said thus, My Father is greater than 7, clearly inasmuch as He 
is Father. Yea, what else does the word Father signify unless 
the being cause and origin of that which is begotten of Him ? * ^ 

And in the West S. Hilary wrote : — 

'The Father is greater than the Son, and clearly greater, to 
whom He gives to be as great as He Himself, and imparts the 
image of His own birthlessness by the mystery of birth, whom 
He begets of Himself after His own likeness.' ^ 

S. Augustine generally refers the greatness of the 
Father to the Incarnation, but allows that the words can 
he understood of the Son as Son : — 

'The words are written partly on account of the Incarnation 
. . . partly because the Son owes to the Father that He is ; as He 
even owes to the Father that He is equal to the Father, while 
the Father owes to no one whatever He is,' » 

It only remains to say that we are not committed by 
the Quicumque to any theory beyond the plain teaching 
of S. Paul concerning the self-emptying of the Son, 
who humbled Himself for our sakes (Phil. 2^^). 

Bishop >Veston brings forward a helpful illustration 
which may be quoted here.* He is arguing that — 

'The self -consciousness of the Incarnate as God in manhood is 
so real that He cannot receive anything except in aiid through 
His manhood. He may be in another sphere the unlimited 
Logos, but as Incarnate He cannot receive or use or know what 
His manhood cannot mediate. 

' It is as if a king's son were to will, for purposes of his father's 
policy, to leave his palace and to dwell a workman among work- 
men ; to pass through all the troubles and vicissitudes of the life 
of a manual labourer, and to refuse to receive anything from 
others that he could not naturally receive and use as a working 
man. Those who recognise him, and in their hearts bow before 
him, are forbidden to acknowledge him or to help him in any way. 

* c. Eunom. i. 25. ' De Trin. ix. 54. 

» ^e FiOe ct St/mb, p. \j^, « The Or\e Christ, p. 164, 



A SHORT COMMENTARY 93 

Imagiuc a time of distress, and the king's son numbered among 
the unemployed, and chosen to be one of their leaders. He goes 
with them into the king's presence ; he is as they are in the king's 
sight ; and the answer that he receives is that nothing can be 
done for any one of them. Outside the palace he shares the 
grief, the distress, and the hunger of the unemployed ; and none 
may help him apart from the whole body of weary sufferers. He 
is, by a primary act of will, one of the unemployed. As the 
days pass the distress deepens ; and finally a riot ensues. In the 
riot he is severely handled : he lies at death's door in the prison 
infirmary. He is recognised, but must be treated only as an 
unemployed workman, now a prisoner awaiting his trial. Yet all 
the while he is a king's son. However, he is resolved only to 
know himself as king's son in conditions of manual labour. The 
law of self-restraint that he imposed upon himself when in his 
father's palace must hold. He will not, must not, break it.' 

The value of this illustration lies in the suggestion of 
a dual relationship in which the son can exist with his 
father at the same time. It is here that our imagination 
needs stimulating. 

(Christ) is One Peraon . 

ii. 34 Who although He he God and Man, yet He is 
35 not two, hut one Christ; One, however, not by 
change of Godhead into flesh, but by taking of Man- 
hood into God ; One altogether, not by confusion of 
37 Suhstance but by unity of Person. For as reasoning 
soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one 
Christ. 

We have still to face the old difficulties, we must 
again reject the old mistakes, partial explanations. The 
union of "Godhead and Manhood is a mystery which we 
cannot fathom but dare not explain away. While we 
believe that the Manhood which our Lord took upon 
Him was complete in the possession of a rational soul, 
and included a human will which only through suffering 
was resigned to harmony with the Divine will, we are 
equally assured that such Manhood was impersonal. 

In recent years the study of the phenomena of ' sub- 
consciousness ' has been thought by some to help us in 
our analysis of human nature on its Godward side. The 



94 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

composer Schubert on waking from sleep found complete 
musical compositions in his mind, which he was able to 
write down, and they are among his best. Coleridge's 
fragment * Kubla Khan' was composed in a dream, but 
he was interrupted before he could write it all out, and 
could never recover the rest. We realise, however, that 
the subconscious Coleridge was a greater poet than in 
his moments of consciousness, as the subconscious 
Schubert was a greater musician. As it has been well 
put : * Supreme genius, such as th.it of Beethoven and 
Shakespeare, seems to consist in an ability to bring all 
the powers of the ** subconscious " mind to bear on their 
conceptions at will.' * 

While man moves with difficulty from one level of 
consciousness to another, our Lord could do it with ease. 
He handles with the sureness of perfect understanding 
forces of which we are only dimly aware. As Mr. Taylor 
has well said : * It is exactly the difference between an 
investigator and a creator, between the use of a machine 
by its contriver and one who has first to find out what 
its purpose is, how it is to be used, and then m hy it does 
what it does.'* 

Without in any way holding the theory that the 
Divinity in our Ivord during His life on earth was sub- 
conscious, it appears legitimate to say that the double 
consciousness which exists in man makes it easier for us 
to understand the truth that His ' reasoning soul ' was 
united with the divine eternal Word. 

We have still to be on our guard against Eutychian 
ideas of the Godhead undergoing a change in becoming 
incarnate. But we are free to follow out S. Hilary's 
idea of the capacity of human nature for the exaltation 
involved in the union of manhood with God. We must 
not lay too much stress on the limitations of human 
personality. 

' Each one of us, we are told, is like a mountain sub- 
merged in an ocean. Only the peak appears above the 
waters, the light of day does not reveal to us the great 

1 Rev. P. Taylor, The Athanasian Creed in the Twentieth 
Century, p. 86. T. and T. Clark, 
a Op. cit. p. 88. 



A SHORT COMMENTARY 95 

Expanding mass beneath.' We can understand the fitness 
of human nature as a dwelling-place for and a revelation 
of God. ^He could enter, so to speak, into the human 
mould without any necessity of being completely enclosed 
by it ; He could fill it as the sunlight fills a human eye, 
and yet spreads all around ; He could charge it with 
His power as a limited piece of apparatus is charged from 
an infinite sea of electricity.' ^ 

The Redeemer, the Judge 

iii. 38 Who suffered for our salvation j descended into hell, 

39 rose again from the dead ; ascended into heaven, sat 
down at the right hand of the Father, to come from 

40 thence to judge the quick and the dead. At whose 
coming all men shall rise again in their bodies and 

41 shall give account for their own deeds. And they 
that hath done good will go into life eternal, they that 
have done evil into eternal fire. 

The mention here of the doctrine of the Atonement 
comes in naturally, but it must not be supposed that 
bare mention implies that it took a subordinate place in 
the author's mind in proportion to the doctrine of the 
Incarnation. Since we are sinners, the message of Christ 
Crucified must come first, as it came first in S. Paul's 
preaching. But when we have been brought to repent- 
ance and 'peace through the blood of His Cross' (Col. 1^^), 
all our reflections, our meditation on the theory of the 
forgiveness which we have enjoyed in experience, must 
centre in these doctrines which are summarised for us in 
the Creeds, the doctrines of the Being of God, and of 
Divine Personality. For indeed it is ' the infinite worth 
of the Son of God ' which alone gives value to His Sacrifice 
of Himself upon the Cross. ^ 

The doctrines of the descent into Hell, the Resurrec- 
tion, and the Ascension, are stated here in the terms 
common to many forms of the Western (Apostles') Creed, 
and I must refer to the explanation which I have given 

1 Taylor, op. cit. p. 117 ff. 

« Of. Hooker, Eccl. Polity, v. Iii. 3. 



DO THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

elsewhere. ^ But the reference to the general Resurrection 
ditfers in form and requires a word of caution. ^ Shall 
rise again in their hodies' may have meant, though we 
cannot prove that it meant, to the author, as it did to 
Rufinus, the resurrection of this flesh in its former 
material particles. 

' Why, praj', have you so mean an opinion of God s power that 
you do not believe it possible for the scattered dust, of which each 
man's flesh was composed, to be re-collected and restored to its 
own original fabric ? Do you refuse to admit the fact when you 
see mortal ingenuity search for veins of metal deeply buried in 
the ground, and the experienced eye discover gold where the 
inexperienced thinks there is nothing but earth? Why should 
we refuse to grant these things to Him who made man, when He 
whom He made can do so much ? ' 2 . . . 'It will come to pass 
that to each soul will be restored, not a confused or foreign body, 
but its own which it had when alive, in order that the flesh 
together with its own soul may for the conflicts of the present life 
either be crowned if undefiled, or punished if defiled. '^ 

The fact is that we understand better than Rufinus 
could, or the author of the Quicumque, in what a state of 
flux the material particles of our bodies are at all times, 
completely changed every seven years, so that it is easier 
for us to imagine how immaterial spirit can be enabled 
to take on a new spiritual body, and clothe itself as it 
were in an incorruptible vesture for its new life in the 
unseen world, which will be essentially the same body 
although its visible constituents have vanished.* 

But this spiritualising of our thoughts about the 
resurrection of the righteous carries with it also a 
certain modification of our thought about the punishment 
of the wicked. We must take all our Lord's metaphors 
together as teaching us symbolically the same terrible 
truth that punishment must imply pain, from within if 
not from without, a pain of sense no less than a pain of 
loss, reaching its climax in remorse which can find no 
remedy. The parable of the wedding garment, in which 
Christ speaks of the unworthy guest as cast out into 
darkness, teaches us that for the impenitent there must 

1 Cf. The Apostles' Creed, chap. v. 

^ Comvientary on the Apostles Creed, c. 42. 

« Ih. c. 43. 4 1 Cor. xv. 35-54. 



A SHORT COMMENTARY 97 

be conscious exclusion from the light and joy and peace 
of the faithful. The parable of the unmerciful servant 
speaks of a prison-house which shall be the righteous 
doom of the impenitent, while the parable of the rich 
man and Lazarus compares the pain of remorse to the 
torment of scorching heat. All the references to the 
rubhish fires of the Valley of Hinnom, where thei?' worm 
dieth not, and the fire is not quenchfd,^ are symbolic of the 
necessary burning up of moral rubbish in the Gehenna of 
fire, which in accordance with the ordinary metaphors 
of Jewish thought the Lord foretold as the doom of the 
wicked. But to the Christian there is nothing in all 
these passages inconsistent with the belief that the 
punishments are self-acting, and not inspired by any 
idea of vengeance, or anything less than the necessary 
sternness of perfect love, judging as a Father must His 
rebellious sons, after leaving nothing undone which may 
win back the stubborn will. 

If the idea of future punishment is thus explained in a 
spiritual manner, there will not be the same moral 
difficulty felt about the idea of its eternity, which has 
roused so many gentle souls to keen opposition to Church 
teaching. The Church only uses the words in section 41 
of the Athanasian Creed as an impersonal statement of 
the future consequences of wilful sin persisted in. No 
known case in human history is regarded as hopeless if 
either at the entrance into the unseen world or through 
the discipline of remedial punishment the soul is brought 
into a condition from which, however steep the way may 
be upwards, there is the beginning of progress. 

From our point of view the ruin of a character may 
seem absolute and the future consequences inevitable 
and eternal. It is from that point of view that we speak 
when we accept the words of the Creed. As Dr. Illing- 
worth has well put it : — 

' But even if we incline to the belief in everlasting punishment, 
on the ground of its long and wide prevalence in the Church, we 
must distinguish between punishment and torment. The terrible 
pictures of everlasting torment, which mediaeval Christianity 

1 Mark ix. 48. 
6 



98 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

shares with various other religions, are a startling witness of 
man's judgment on himself — of the awful possibilities which he 
sees in unrepented sin ; but they are pagan in origin, and have 
not a shred of justification in the pages of the New Testament. 
They belong to rougher ages than our own ; when cruelty was so 
common a human attribute as not to seem incom{}atible with th« 
character of God ; and their rejection, in the present day, is due 
to that gradual elevation of our moral standard, which has been 
the constant work of the Christian Spirit in the world. But we 
can conceive of a punishment that shall be everlasting, without 
doing violence to our sense of divine justice. For we have an 
analogy for it within the limits of this life. Take the case of 
a man who has been a culpable spendthrift, in his youth, and so 
reduced himself to penury for the remainder of his life. His 
poverty is his punishment, and so long as he resents it he is in 
misery ; but no sooner does he recognise its justice than he can 
bear it with cheerful acquiescence, as God's will. Yet the pun- 
ishment remains ; he has all the incapacities of poverty, and can 
never now do the good that he might have done with his wealth. 
This is a simple instance of what is daily occurring when we look 
behind the scenes of life. Men are being perpetually punished by 
the life-long consequences of their sins ; but if they accept the 
punishment as punishment, it ceases to be pain ; for they become 
in Dante's language, "content within the fire." 

' Now one can conceive a similar process in the future life ; that 
men may then be made to recognise that, by their earthly conduct, 
they have brought themselves for ever to a lower state than 
might have been, and are to that extent everlastingly punished, 
while vet they accept their condition as divinely just, and are at 
peace.^ ^ 

42. This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man have 
faithjully and sted/astly believed he cannot be saved. 

Again, at the end of the Creed, stress is laid on 
loyalty to known truth ; nothing is said about those 
outside the Church. The Apocryphal story of Gregory 
the Great,2 who was so much moved by a story of 
Trajan's kindness and justice that he prayed for his 
salvation, and heard a voice telling him that his prayer 
was heard, but he must never again ask grace for one who 
died unbaptised, expresses the general opinion of the 
Church during the early Middle Ages. But we fall back 

* Reason and Revelation, p. 230. 

* It appears in the St. G alien Life. 



A SHORT COMMENTARY 99 

on the teaching of S. Paul (Rom. 2^*) on the judgment 
of Gentiles who ' do by nature the things of the law ' as 
offering sure ground of hope in the just judgment ot 
Christ. The importance already attached to 'good 
deeds' is quite enough to satisfy the demands of our 
conscience. 

The limits of this series preclude further reference to 
modern controversies, and to the difficulty which many 
people feel as to the prima facie meaning of the warning 
clauses of the Creed. If we allow to other men the plea 
of invincible ignorance, we are true to the teaching of 
S. Paul that conscience must be supreme arbiter. And 
our sympathy with weak and wounded consciences in no 
degree relaxes our hold on the supreme truths which the 
Creed guards. Our humble prayer is that we may be 
led to know the truth, and that the truth may set us free 
from prejudice, from passion, and from pride, to serve 
our Lord in renewed loyalty, and candour, and love. 



APPENDIX A 

THE LATIN TEXT 

The following text is almost identical with the text printed by 
Mr. C. H. Turner in the Journal of Theological Studies (April 
1910), but I am not able to follow him in the inversion of order 
ol. 12, 'increati . . . immensi . . . immensus increatus,' onthesole 
authority of the Bobbio MS. at Milan ; in the omission of est in 
cl. 16, 18 when it completes a rhythm ; in the readings ' minor 
patre ', ' inferos ' for ' inferna,' and in the omission of ' et ' in cl. 25. 
I have marked the rhythms according to the system of accented 
prose known as the Cursus Leoninvs, which had three ordinary 
forms of endings : — 

cursus planus — s.^^ — ~ (pi) 

eursua tardus — ^>^ — v^ ~ (t) 

cv/rsut velox — ^^ ^a-* — ~ (v) 

There is also a metrical ending (No. 4), which at a later date 
passed into the cursus 

This will account for the rhythms of cl, 3 and cl. 20, but it 
leaves unexplained the (from this point of view) unrhythmical 
endings of cL 27 and cl. 28.^ 

It is important to note further that, for the sake of uniformity, 
I have abandoned the numbering of the clauses, which in my 
Introduction to the Creeds I took from Waterland, and have 
adopted the numbering of the English Prayer Book followed by 
Mr. Turner, and Bishop Gibson with the Archbishop's Com- 
mittee. 

QUICUMQUE UULT 

^Quicumque uult saluus esse ante omnia opus est ut teneat 
cathdlicam fidemv\ Sq^iam nisi quis integram inuiolatamque 
seruauerit, absque dubio in aet^rnuvi peribit^'K 

^ For information on the history of the Cv/rsui see my Intro- 
duction to the Creeds, p. 249. 
100 



APPENDIX A 101 



i (a) 'Fides autem catholica haec est, ut unum Deum in 
Trinitate et Trinitatcm iu Unitate ueneremur ; •'neqixe con- 
fundentes personas, neque substdntiam separdntes : " alia est 
enim persona Patris, alia Filii, alia Spiritus Sdncti^^ ; sedPatris 
et Filii et Spiritus Sancti vina est diuinitas, aequalis gloria, 
coaeUrna maiestasM 

(6) 'Qualis Pater, talis Filius, talis et Spiritus Sdnctus^^: 
8 increatus Pater, increatus Filius, increatus Spiritus Sdnctus p' ; 
•inmensus Pater, inmensus Filius, inmensus Spiritus Sdnctus ^^ ; 
i^aeternus Pater, aeternus Filius, aetemus Spiritus Sdnctus^^i 
11 et tamen non tres aeterni sed iinus aeternus p' ; sicut non tres 
increati nee tres inmensi sed unus increatus et iinus inmensus p'. 
Similiter omnipotens Pater, omnipotens Filius, omnipotens 
Spiritus Sdnctus p' ; ^^ et tamen non tres omnipotentes, sed Unus 
omnipotens *. 

(c) ^^Ita Deus Pater, Deus Filius, Deus Spiritus Sdnctus p^ i 
i*et tamen non tres Dii, sed iinus est D4us^^. I'lta Dominus 
Pater, Dominus Filius, Dominus Spiritus Sdnctus p' ; ^^ et 
tamen non tres Domini sed unus est Ddminus.* ^^Qoxa. sicut 
singillatim unumquamque personam et Deum et Dominum 
confiteri Christiana ueritdte comp6llimur'^, ^Ojta tres Deos aut 
Dominos dicere catholica religione prohibemur, 

ii 21 Pater anuUo est f actus nee credtvs nee g^nitus^: 22 Filius 
a Patre solo est, non f actus nee credtus, sed g6nitus * : 23 Spiritus 
Sanctus a Patre et Filio, non factus nee creatus nee g6nitus, sed 
procidens"'. 24Unus ergo Pater non tres Patres, unus Filius non 
tres Filii, unus Spiritus Sanctus non tres Spiritus Sdncti^K 25 Et 
in hac Trinitate nihil prius aut posterius, nihil mains aut minus, 
28 sed totae tres .personae coaeternae sibi sunt et coaequdles^^ : 
''ita ut per omnia, sicut iam supra dictum est, et Trinitas in 
Unitate et Unitas in Trinitate ueneranda sit. 

28 Qui uult ergo saluus ita de Trinitate sentiat. 

II 

2» Sed necessarium est ad aeternam salutem ut incarnationem 
quoque Domini nostri lesu Christi fideliter crMat p'. 

30 Est ergo fides recta ut credamus et confiteamur quia Dominus 
noster lesus Chriatus Dei Filius et Dena pdriter ct hdmo est : 

i. 31 Deus est ex substantia Patris ante saecula genitus, et homo 
est ex substantia matris in sdeculo nd^wsi'': 32perfectus Deus, 
perf ectus homo ex anima rationabili et humana cdme subsistens p' ; 
*3^quali8 Patri secundum diuinitatem, minor Patri secHmdum 
humanitdtem ^. 

ii. 34 Qui licet Deus sit et homo, non duo tamen sed iinus est 
Christus P" ; ^ unus autem, non conuersione diuinitatis in came, 



102 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

sed adsumptione humanitdtis in Z)<feP' ; ^fiunus omnino non cou- 
fessione substantiae, sed unitdte persvnae^^. ^ Nam sicut auima 
rationabilis et caro unus est homo, ita Deus et homo unus est 
Christus P' : 

iii. 38 Qui passus est pro salute nostra, descendit ad inferna, 
surrixit a iiiortuii^, ^ ascendit ad caelos, sedit ad d^zteram 
Pdirit P', inde venturus iudicare uluos et mortuos *. *<* Ad cuius 
adventum omnes homines resurgere habent in corporibus suis, et 
reddituri sunt de fuctis prdpriisratidnem'' ; ^ et qui bona egerimt 
ibunt in uitam aeternam, qui mala in ignem aetimum p'. 

^ Haeo est fides catholica quam nisi quis fideliter firmiterqae 
crediderit, saluus isse non pdtcrit *. 

GREEK VERSIONS 

The Greek versions of the Qnicumque are not important since 
they are plainly translations from the Latin text, and none of 
the MSS. go back earlier than the fifteenth century. But they 
are not without interest to any who would study the limited use 
of the Qnicumque in the Eastern Church. They have been fully 
described in Prebendary Ommanney's Dissertation. 

Montfaucon published four such versions in his Diatribe de 
Symbolo Quicnmque : — 

i. Cod. Vatic. Falat. .%4, . . . saec. xiv. 

Cod. Paris, B. N. Gr. 1286, . 
ii. Cod. Paris, B. N. Or. 1327, . 

Cod. Vindoh. cxc, 
iii. Cod. Bodl., Canonici Or. 116, . 
Cod. Florent, Plut. xi. 12, 

Published by Aldus at Venice in the Hours of the 
Blessed Virgin, 1497. 

iv. Published by Ussher from an Horology of Greek hymns, 
also in Tjabbe's Councils, etc. 

Caspari ^ also edited two versions :— 

i. Cod. DLxxv. in S. Mark's Library, 

Venice, saec. xv. 

[Ommanney quotes other MSS.] 

ii. Cod. Amhros. j9 39, Sup. No. 12, . saec. xvi. 

Of these the first is adapted from the third of Montfaucon's 
versions, and the second is founded on Montfaucon's first. 

The version printed in the Appendix to the Greek Horology is 
a compilation from the first and third of Montfaucon's versions. 
It was probably admitted to the Greek Horology in 1777.^ 

1 Quellcn, iii. 263-7. 

8 Ommanney, Dissertation, p. 304. 



saec. 


XV. XVI. 


saec. 


xvi. 


saec. 


XV. 


saec. 


XVI. 


saec. 


XV. 



APPENDIX A 103 

The extent to which the translation of the Quicumque, which is 
given in the First Prayer Book of 1549, followed the Greek 
version is not easy to determine, as in some cases the variations 
from the I^atin text of the Sarum Breviary are due to the follow- 
ing of an older Latin text. But there can be no doubt that 
incomprehensiUe (ver. 9) was a translation of dKardXTjirros rather 
than immensus ; believe rightly (ver. 29) is a translation of hpdCbi 
VLcrTeOay rather than fideliter credat ; except a man believe faith- 
fvlly (ver. 42) follows the Greek kav /ii^ ri'i TrttrrcDs 7ri<rrci/o-27 
rather than the Latin ntst qnii fideliter firmiterque crediderit. 

The translators probably used Aldus' edition of the Hours of 
the Blessed Virgin^ published in 1497 (=Montfaucon'B third 
version). 



APPENDIX B 

THE EARLIEST MSS. 

SoMK years ago M. Leopold Delisle, the well-known Librarian of 
the Biblioth^que Nationale, called attention to a MS. in the 
Library of the Marist Fathers at Lyons, which was presented by 
Bishop Leidrat of Lyons to the Altar of S. Stephen in that city, 
with the following autograph inscription : Leidrat licet indignus 
tamen episcopus istum lihrum tradidi ad altare sancti Stephanie 
Leidrat held the See of Lyons from a.d. 798-814, when he 
resigned. The MS. must have been written before 814, but not 
much earlier, since it contains verses by Alcuin. Here then is a 
MS. the date of which is beyond dispute, which proves that the 
Quicumque, in the form familiar to us, was well known to Leidrat, 
one of the ablest theologians whom Charles the Great gathered 
round him in the great Revival of Learning which made his reign 
famous. 

The MS. contains an interesting collection of Creeds, including 
the first Nicene Creed, the Faiths of S. Ambrose, S. Gregory the 
Great, S. Gregory of Neocaesarea, S. Jerome = the Creed of 
Pelagius.2 M. Delisle suggested that it was prepared for Leidrat's 
journey to Spain in 798, when he was combating the heresy of 
Adoptianism, to which allusion is made in more than one of the 
early commentaries on the Quicumque. But investigation proves 
that the phrases of the Quicumque needed sharpening against 
the revived Nestorianism of the Adoptianists. This appears in 
the quotations made by Alcuin and others from the Creed which, 
in the light of Leidrat's MS., are no longer ambiguous. They 
knew the Creed and used its phrases freely. 

It is of more importance to note that the same collection of 
Creeds in the same order, together with most of the extracts 
which follow in Leidrat's MS., quotations from Cassiodorus, 



^ His attention was drawn to it by M. I'Abb^ J. B. Martin, 
through whose kindness I obtained the facsimiles now published 
by the Bradshaw Society, vol. xxxvi. p. 18. The same dedication 
is found in three other MSS. 

2 See my Introduction to the Greeds, p. 133. 
104 



AP1>ENDIX fi 105 

Damasus, Jerome, Isidore, and Augustine, brought together as 
an Introduction to the Psalter, actually form the Introduction to 
the famous Golden Psalter at Vienna, Cod. 1861, which was 
written by command of a King Charles for a Pope Hadrian. 
There can be no doubt now that it was intended by Charles the 
Great for Pope Hadrian i., after whose death, in a.d. 795, the 
MS. seems to have been given to Queen Hildegard. Dr. Traube 
connected with it a group of which the best specimen is the 
famous Treves Ada MS. But, alas, he died before writing a 
dissertation on it. 

Thus Leidrat's MS. by itself crushes the two-document theory 
that the Quicumque was only put together after a.d. 813. 

Cod. Petrihurg. Q. I. 15 
This MS. is one of the best Corbie MSS. which found their way 
to the Imperial Library at St. Petersburg in the collection of 
Peter Dubrowsky, who was an attach^ of the Russian Embassy at 
Paris at the end of the eighteenth century. Mabillon found it 
among the treasures of the Benedictine House of St. Germain- 
des-Pres, to which the Benedictines of Corbie brought their 
treasures in 1638, and published a facsimile of the first words of 
the Quicurtique in his book De re diplomatica. It was supposed 
to be lost, but on my showing a photograph to Dr. Traube he 
at once identified it, and worked out the history of the handwrit- 
ing. It is not written in the old Corbie hand, and appears to have 
come from the Irish Monastery of Peronne, which lay not far from 
Corbie. Its date is c. a.d. 750. It contains the writings of Isidore, 
the Quicumque, and some verses by monks of Peronne. 

Cod. Monacensia lat. 6298 (Fris. 98) 
This MS. comes from the Cathedral at Freising, and contains a 
collection of sermons which was probably made by Csesarius of 
Aries. It begins with a Preface from his pen, immediately 
followed by the Quicumque. Its date is certainly eighth century, 
and it has one most interesting variant in which it agrees with 
the Profession of Denebert ^ against all other known MSS. The 
evidence of these eighth century MSS., with which may be named 
a Gallican Psalter of the year 795 (Paris, B.N. 13, 159), a collec- 
tion of Canons of the year 796 (Paris, B.N. 1, 451), and a 
fragment (Paris, B.N. 4858), which contains clauses 1-11, brings 
us back to the earliest IMS. 

Cod. Amhrosianus, O. 2l2 sup. saec. vii., viii. 

This MS. came to the Ambrosian Library at Milan from the 
Monastery of Bobbio. It is written in an Irish hand-, which may 
be compared with the script of the famous Antiphonary of 

1 See p. 12. 



106 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

Bangor. In the opinion of the late Dr. Ceriani, sometime 
Librarian, both MSS. were written about the same time, i.e. 
about the end of the seventh century. Dr. Traube was content 
to say seventh or eighth century. In any case it serves as a link 
to connect eighth century MSS. with seventh century quotations. 
The MS. contains the Book of Ecclesiastical Dogmas written 
by Gennadius, a private Profession of Faith by Bacchiarius, the 
Quicuinque without any title, a sermon on the Ascension in a 
slightly later eighth century hand, and the Creed of Damasus 
under the title 'The Faith of Jerome.' 

Dr. Swainson had hard work to explain away to himself the 
evidence of this MS., and took refuge in certain variants from the 
ordinary text which he regarded as showing unsettlement of the 
text after the two portions had been joined together. Thus in 
verse 23, after the word 'proceeding,' the words are added: 'He 
is co-eternal with the Father and the Son.' They occur, how- 
ever, both in the treatise of Gennadius and twice in the Faith of 
Bacchiarius, which precede the Quicumque in this MS. So it 
would be the easiest thing in the world for a copyist to add them. 
Explanations are also forthcoming for the other variants which 
are equally unimportant, and raise no solid suspicion as to the 
original text of the Creed. 

As a matter of fact, we are not dependent on these MSS. alone 
for the information required. The whole text of the Creed is 
contained also in early Commentaries, few of which were known 
to Dr. Waterland. 

Early Commentaries 

An independent argument to prove the existence of the 
QuicumqUrC text as we have it from the seventh or eighth century 
can be built up on the evidence of these early Commentaries. 

I'he Orleans Commentary 

This Commentary was published by the Librarian, M. Cuissard, 
from a MS. 94 of the Town Library, which contains part of 
Theodulf 's treatise against Adoptianism and an exposition of the 
Mass, which has been attributed to him. It is very doubtful 
whether M. Cuissard is right in ascribing the Commentary to 
Theodulf, who was one of the most learned prelates of the Court 
of Charles the Great. Its laboured explanations, and its loose use 
of theological terms, are unworthy of him. But while its theo- 
logical value is small, it is of historical importance in our present 
inquiry, inasmuch as it is a MS. of the ninth century. The 
author quotes other Commentaries, and this puts their date 
back — Fortunatus, Troyes, Stavelot, Paris. The MS. comes from 
Fleury and was probably written there. It throws light on the 
interest taken in the subject in the monastery of which Theodulf 
was at one time Abbot, and in which he introduced the use of 



APPENDIX B 107 

the Quicumque at Prime. A list of the Abbots at Fleury credits 
him with the authorship of an Explanation of the Vieio of 
S. Athanasius, which is the title used in his book On the Holy 
Spirit, but not in this Commentary. 

The Stavelot Commentary 

The Stavelot Commentary probably dates from the ninth 
century also. The earliest MS. is in the British Museum (B.M. 
Add. MSS. 18,043), of the tenth century, from Stavelot Abbey in 
the Forest of Ardennes. In the Middle Ages it became widely 
popular, and was edited by Bishop Bruno of Wiirzburg. Since 
Stavelot was attached to Li^ge from the ninth century, it may 
have been one of the Commentaries referred to by a Synod held 
in the Diocese c. 840-855: 'For we decree that the Faith of 
S. Athanasius the Bishop, in this work, is to be observed, and the 
Creed of the Apostles with the traditions and expositions of the 
holy Fathers on these discourses.' This Commentary again has 
been conjectured to be the missing Commentary of Thcodulf, but 
there is nothing to connect any of the MSS. with Fleury or the 
text with Theodulf. The Commentary contains good matter, and 
became, with the Oratorian and Fortunatus Commentaries, the 
foundation of several Mediaeval Commentaries. One of these, 
under the name of Richard Rolle of Ham pole, was widely used in 
England in the fourteenth century. 

The Paris Commentary 

The Paris Commentary was found by Prebendary Ommanney in 
a MS. of the tenth century (B.N. Paris, Cod. lat. 1012) from the 
Abbey of S. Martial at Limoges. There is no definite evidence 
as to its date. It contains quotations from Gregory the Great and 
Gennadius. 

The Bouhier Commentary 

The Bouhier Commentary is found in some four MSS., the 
earliest of which dates from the tenth century (Troyes, 1979), 
and belonged to the Bouhier family, whose name Ommanney 
attached to it. It is mainly founded on the Oratorian Com- 
mentary, and I cannot assign to it an earlier date than the ninth 
century. 

The Oratorian Commentary 

The Oratorian Commentary is by far the most learned of the 
known Commentaries. At present there are only two MSS. 
known. The earliest {Cod. Vat. Reg. 231), now at the Vatican 
of the ninth century, contains works of Cassiodorus, Prosper, 
Alcuin, Isidore, with expositions of the Lord's Prayer and the 
Apostles' Creed. The other is at Troyos (MS. 804), of the tenth 
century, and contains works of Theodulf, Augustine on the Lord's 
Prayer and Apostles' Creed, followed by two other expositions of 



108 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

that Creed, and another of the Quicumque, to which I shall refer 
again as the Troves Commentary. The Vatican MS. alone con- 
tains a remarkable preface, which, in a condensed form, re- 
appears in all MSS. of the Bouhier Commentary. The writer, 
apparently addressing a Synod, states that he has carried out their 
instructions to provide an exposition of this work on the Faith 
' which is up and down recited in our churches, and continually 
made the subject of meditation by our priests.' He complains of 
the ignorance prevailing among the clergy, of the difficulty which 
they find in getting books for their sacred offices — a Psalter, or a 
Lectionary, or a Missal. 'Since some have no desire to read 
or learn, it is the will of the Synod that at least they should be 
compelled to meditate on this exposition of the Faith ' which he 
has illustrated from the Fathers. Ignorance of God in a priest 
should be accounted sacrilege like blasphemy in a layman. He 
goes on to speak of the tradition that this work had been com- 
posed by the blessed Athanasius, Bishop of the Alexandrian 
Church, 'for I have always seen it entitled thus, even in old 
MSS.' He had come to the conclusion that it was composed to 
meet the Arian heresy. This would be an easy deduction from 
the tradition of authorship, which has had an unfortunate in- 
fluence on most writers who have discussed the internal evidence 
of the Creed. At this point I would only point out how important 
is the testimony of this ninth century writer, both as to the old 
MSS. which he has seen, and the use which he propo.ses to make 
of the Quicumque. In his exposition he quotes Augustine, 
Prosper. Leo, Cyril of Alexandria,^ Fulgentius, Pelagius i., 
Vigilius of Thapsus. the Creed of Pelagius, and the Definition of 
the Sixth General Council of 681 a.d. 

From this last quotation Ommanney concluded that the Com- 
mentary was written in the seventh century, while some fear of 
Monothelitism, the heresy which asserted that our Lord had only 
One Will, still prevailed. But the words of the Council are 
quoted rather as a statement of positive truth than as a weapon 
against such error. On the other hand, there is great stress laid 
on the unity of the Lord's Person, as if in fear of a revived 
Nestorianism. This seems to me to point to the time when 
Adoptianism was threatening the western church at the end of the 
eighth century, and supports Swainson's suggestion that this may 
be the lost Commentary of Theodulf. The whole tone of the 
preface is worthy of Theodulf, and describes the situation which 
he found in his dioce.'se at the beginning of the Carlovingian re- 
vival of learning. Both the MSS. may be connected with 
Fleury.2 



1 In the Latin translation of Dionysius Exiguus. 
* Cf. my Introduction to the Creeds, p. 166. 



APPENDIX B 109 



The Troyes Commentary 

The Troyes Commentary was foimd by Ommanney it the 
Troyes MS. {Cod. 804) of the tenth century, in which he found a 
new text of the Oratorian Commentary. It is based in part on the 
Fortunatus Commentary, and passes over without mention certain 
verses of the Creed. The author was evidently in dread of a 
revived Nestorianism, and speaks strongly against several 
opinions which were held by Felix of Urgel, the Adoptianist. 
Felix spoke of our Lord in His human nature as Adopted Son, 
and raised suspicion that he had in his mind the thought of a 
double personality. He also held that our Lord assumed human 
nature in the state to which Adam's fall reduced it, not indeed 
as tainted by original sin, but as subject to mortality and other 
consequences of sin. This view was strongly opposed by the 
author of the Troyes Commentary in his note on verse 30, and 
he goes on to insist on the singularity of the Lord's Person, and 
that He rose in the same flesh in which He died, all of which 
arguments point to the date 780 a.d. to 820 a.d., when Adoptian- 
ism was a growing heresy. 

The Fortunatus Commentary 

This is undoubtedly the earliest Commentary, but the MSS. do 
not carry us back beyond the earlier years of the ninth century. 
Only two MSS. were known to Dr. Waterland, but there are now 
over twenty on record, and probably many others. This points to 
a wide circulation, and we may hope some day to unravel the 
mystery of its origin. We have also a second edition of the 
Commentary, which was apparently made in the ninth century. 
The earliest MS. is at S. Gallen {Cod. 27), in the margin of a 
Psalter of the ninth century, which constrains us to put back 
the first edition to the eighth century at least. 

The internal evidence is not decisive as to the date. Apollin- 
arianism is the latest heresy mentioned by name, but there is a 
mild warning against Nestorianism: 'Lest on account of the 
taking up of human flesh there should be said to be a Quaternity. 
Be it far from the heart or feelings of the faithful either to say 
or think this.' It does not seem wise under present circumstances 
to say more than that it was written before 700 a.d., though it 
gives the impression of being a sixth century rather than a 
seventh century document. 

A more important question must be raised in relation to the 
form of text quoted in it. Does it quote from a shorter form 
which has been expanded into our revised text? The clauses 
omitted are 2, 12, 14, 21-23, 26, 28, 29. Having regard to the 
writer's method of explanation, we can with some confidence 
maintain that there was no word in any of the omitted clauses 



110 THE ATHANASIAN CREED 

which really needed explanation. The most serious omission, 
21-23, can be explained oy showing that the later portion of this 
section had been quoted in the note on clause 5, and the impor- 
tant words 'begetting,' 'begotten,' 'proceeding,' had already 
been explained. But the evidence is too technical to be quoted 
here.i 

"We have given above a brief survey of the more important 
MSS., in which we can trace its history back to the seventh 
century. Side by side with them we set the early Commentaries, 
which carry us back by an independent route to the same date, 
but no further. 

i Se« my Introduction to tJie Creeds, p. 171. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Brewer, H., Das sogenannte Athanasianische Glauhens- 
bekcnntnis : ein Werk des heiligen Ambrosius. 
Paderborn, 1909. 

Burn, A. E., The Athanasian Creed and its Early Com- 
mentaries. Cambridge, 189G. 

An Introduction to the Creeds. Methuen^ 1899. 

Gibson, E. C. S., Bp. of Gloucester, The Thee Creed.s. 
Longmans, 1906. 

LiTMBY, J. R., The History of the Creeds. Cambridge, 
1873. 

KiJNSTLE, K., Antipriscil/iana. Freiburg im Breisgau, 
1905. 

Maci.eane, D., The Athanasian Creed. London, 1914. 

Ommanney, G. D. W., a Critical Dissertation on the 
Athanasian Creed. Oxford, 1897. 

SwAiNsoN, C. A., The Nicene and Apostles' Creeds. 
London, 1875. 

Turner, C. H., The History and Use of Creeds and 
Anathemas. S.P.C.K., 1908. 

WaterivAND, Dr. D., A Critical History of the Athanasian 
Creed. New edition. Oxford, 1870. 



Ui 



INDEX 



Adoptianism, io6, io8 f. 

Aelfric, 21. 

Alcuin, 13. 

Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, S. , 33. 

Angilbert, Abbot, 20. 

Antelmi, 7, 32. 

Anselm, Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, 79. 

Apollinarianism, 16 f, 36, 7of,72f. 

Arianism, 33, 50, 52 f, 56, 65, 70, 
80. 

Aristotle, 53. 

Arnobius, 31. 

Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, 
S. , I f, 13, 18, 5if, 54, 60, 67f, 108. 

Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, S., 
26, 28, 33 f, 46, 58 ff, 62, 69, 90. 

Avitus, Bishop of Vienne, 31 f., 
37- 

Baronius, Cardinal, 6. 

Basil the Great, Bishop of Neo- 

caesarea, 53, 92. 
Bede, Venerable, 10. 
Bergmann, Dr., 29. 
Bethune Baker, Prof. J. F., 65, 

72, 89. 
Bigg, Dr., 59. 
Birkbeck, W. J. , 33. 
Bradshaw, H., 23. 

112 



Brewer, H., 34. 

Bruno, Bishop of Wiirzburg, 107. 

CiESARius of Aries, Bishop, 28 ff, 

37. 40. 105- 
Camerarius, 7. 
Cassiodorus, 107. 
Ceriani, Dr., 106. 
Cicero, 78. 

Clement of Alexandria, S., 49,81, 
Coleridge, S. T. , 94. 
Creed, the Apostles', 2, 23. 

the Nicene, 2, 51, 55. 

Cuissard, M. Ch., 106. 
Cyprian of Toulon, Bishop, 57. 
Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop, 51, 68, 

Damasus, Creed of, 28, 4a 
Delisle, M. L., 104. 
Denebert, Bishop, 12 f, 19, 21, 
105. 

Eutychianism, 10, 35, 72 f. 

Faustus of Riez, Bishop, 3a, 

38 f. 
Ffoulkes, Rev. E. S. , 8. 
Florianus, Abbot, 11. 
Florus, Deacon, 20. 
Formula, the Baptismal, 44 f. 



INDEX 



113 



Fortunatus of Poitiers, 39. 
Fortunatus Commentary, the, 18, 
109. 

Gibson, E. C. S., Bishop of 

Gloucester, 100. 
Gore, C, Bishop of Oxford, 70 f. j 
Gregory the Great, S. , 98. j 

Gregory of Nyssa, S., 91. | 

Gregory of Tours, Bishop, 39. 
Gwatkin, Prof. , 52. 

Haknack, Prof. A., 14, 48. 
Hatto of Basle, Bishop, 21. 
Hermas, Shepherd of, 46. 
Hilary, Bishop of Aries, 38. 
Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers, S., 

16, 49, 54 ff, 60 f, 63, 74 f, 80. 

87, 89, 92. 
Hilsey, Bishop, 22, 89. 
Hincrnar, Archbishop of Rheims, 

18, 21. 
Honoiatus, Archbishop of Aries, 

37 f- 
Hooker, Richard, 6. 

Ignatius of Antioch, S. , 89 f. 
Illingworth, Dr., 62, 97 f. 
Irengeus, S., 47, 91, 92. 
Isidore, Bishop of Seville, 37, 41. 

Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury, 7. 
Justinian, Emperor, 10. 
Justin Martyr, 47. 

Katten'BUSCh, Dr. F., 31. 

Keble, Rev, J. , 79- 

Ken, r.. Bishop of Bath and 

Wells, 81. 
Kiinsile, Dr. K., 17, 40. 



Legg. Dr. Wickman, 21 f. 
I.eidrat, Bishop, 19, 104. 
Lejay, P., 30. 
Leporius, 35, 72. 
Leo, S., 57, 72 f, 90. 
Lerins, Monastery of, 37 
Loofs, Professor, 14, 28. 
Lotze, H., 83. 
Lucas, Rev. H., 24. 
Lucius the Martyr, 50. 
Lumby, Prof. J. R., 13. 
Lupus of Troyes, Bishop, 11, 38. 

Mamertus Claudian, Priest of 

Vienne, 35, 38. 
Manicheism, 17, 58. 
Martin of Braga, Bishop, 31, 

39 ff- 
Martin of Tours, Bishop, S., 16. 
Maxentius, 35. 
Ma.ximus, Emperor, 16. 
Modalism, 60. 
Montfaucon, Dom, 102 f. 
Monothelitism, 71. 
Morin, Dom G., 17, 19, 26, 29, 

31 ^. 34 f. 37. 40 f. 74- 
Martineau, Dr., 58. 

Nestorianism, 33, 35 f, 71 ff> 

77, 109. 
Niceta of Remesiana, Bishop, 82. 
Nicetius, Bishop of Treves, lof, 31. 

Ommannry, Preb., 32, 37, 102, 

109. 
Origen, 50, 53, 67. 

Pascal, Blaise, 60. 
Pastor, Bishop, 17, 35. 



114 



THE ATHANASIAN CRKED 



Paulinus of Aquileia, Bishop, 8, 

13- 
Pearson, John, Bishop of Chester, 

7- 
Pelagianism, 62, 77. 
Plato, 52. 
Platonism, 59. 
Plotinus, 59. 
Priminius, Abbot of Reichenau, 

31.41- 
Priscillian, Bishop of Avila, 15 ff, 

34. 36. 
PuUan, Rev. L. 57. 

QUESNEL, Paschasius, 7. 

Ratramn of Corbie, 18. 

Robinson, Dean, 84. 

Rufinus, Priest of Aquileia, 96. 

Sabellianism 16 f, 47, 53, 80. 

Schubert, F., 94. 

Strong, Dean, 58. 

Swainson, Prof. C. A., 8, 10 f, 

106. 
Swedenborg, Emmanuel, 13. 

Taylor, Bishop Jeremy, 7. 
Taylor, Rev. P., 94 f. 



Te Deum, the, i, 2, 6. 
Tennyson, Lord, 86. 
Tertullian. 48 f, 65 f. 
Theodore of Mopsuestia, 71. 
Theodosius, Emperor, 51. 
Theodulf of Orleans, Bishop, 106. 
Theophiliis of Antioch, 47. 
Toledo, Fourth Council of, 15. 
Traube, Prof. L., 14, 105. 
Treves Fragment, the, 8 ff. 
Turner, Mr. C. H., 30, 100. 

USSHBR, Archbishop, 7. 

Versions, Greek, 102. 
Victorinus Afer, 59, 61. 
Victricius of Rouen, Bishop, 8, 

37. 
Vigilius, Bishop of Thapsus, 7, 

35- 
Vicentius of Lerins, 7, 32 f, 37. 
Voss, Gerard, 7. 

Waterland, Dr. D., 7, 26, 34, 

109. 
Wellington, Duke of, 7. 
Westcott, Bishop, 8. 
Weston, Bishop, 92. 



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